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What can Massachusetts do about its housing crisis?

Everything Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said about the Massachusetts housing crisis
Everything Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said about the Massachusetts housing crisis 10:02

BOSTON – What can Massachusetts do about its housing crisis?

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll joined WBZ-TV to discuss the quest for affordable housing in the state, and how the housing situation is impacted by an increase in migrants arriving at shelters in Massachusetts.

MBTA Communities Act

Driscoll weighed in on pushback Gov. Maura Healey's administration has received against the MBTA Communities Act, which mandates that cities and towns redo their zoning to allow for more multifamily housing

Driscoll said she believes the pushback gets more headlines than the number of communities who agree to the plan.

"The No. 1 issue people talk about are the high cost of housing, the unaffordability, even in places where housing is more affordable, it's not more affordable to the people who are living there, places maybe outside of Greater Boston. So we see this as a partnership opportunity," Driscoll said.

Migrants in Massachusetts

Driscoll was also asked if, given the recent arrivals of migrant families in Massachusetts, would they be given priority for public housing?

"If you're considered a homeless individual, you rise to the top of the list. It's going to depend on some of the status where they would fit in terms of taking any kind of priority. We do have a fair amount of Massachusetts residents in our emergency shelters so we're there is adequate housing there but mostly want people have a roadway to independence," Driscoll said. "How do we get work authorizations? How do we get people out of shelters, out of overflow sites as fast as we can? These folks are eager to work and we know we have jobs. We're trying to make those connections, have been successful in many ways and continue to press on the federal government for the resources and expedited work authorizations that we need."

Driscoll optimistic 

Overall, Driscoll said there is reason for optimism in the search for affordable housing.

"We are optimistic. We feel Massachusetts comes together as a team, there's no problem we can't solve. This one is a hard one and it's been decades in the making," she said. "But we're committed to ensuring that we're moving 

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