Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visits Easthampton to discuss housing choice legislation

Hampshire County

State lawmakers focused on their housing choice bill in Easthampton Thursday.

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle welcomed Lt. Governor Karyn Polito to Easthampton to see the success of a housing choice community.

A couple of dozen people gathered at Millside Park in Easthampton to learn about the zoning options the state’s Housing Choice Legislation could offer. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the Housing Choice bill would give communities like Easthampton the necessary tools to build housing for the future.

Mayor LaChapelle told 22News Easthampton has made changes to its zoning bylaws, which resulted in the transformation of some old mills into what is now the indoor park at Mill 180 Park.

LaChapelle said, “We’re thrilled to be a part of this initiative and spotlight it, but also to put shovels in the ground.”

“We haven’t had a zoning reform in about 50 years in this Commonwealth and it really is a barrier to increasing the production of new housing units,” Lt. Gov. Polito told 22News.

Polito also said the state needs to add 135,000 new units of housing by 2025. She said that could be done if changes are made to local zoning bylaws.

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