Mass. voters retain state's affordable housing law

November 2, 2010

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BOSTON—Massachusetts voters have rejected Question 2, keeping intact the state's main affordable housing law which was credited with creating tens of thousands of new homes, sometimes without the backing of local officials.

The law gives private developers more power to bypass local zoning laws if they promise to include a certain percentage of affordable units in their projects.

State legislators originally adopted the law, known as 40B, in 1969. One goal of the law was to pressure suburbs to create more affordable units.

Those pushing the repeal argued it doesn't have enough of an emphasis on rental housing.

Supporters of the law say it's paved the way for about 58,000 units of new housing in the past four decades, including 30,000 affordable units.