Lt. Gov. Polito discusses the need for affordable housing during Hadley visit

Hampshire County

HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito was in Hadley Tuesday night to talk about a bill that will expand housing in local communities. 

Lt. Gov. Polito said if we want more businesses in the Pioneer Valley, we need affordable places for employees to live.  

She said they’re trying to make it easier for towns to develop that housing. 

Polito visited Mountain View Apartments in Hadley Tuesday. The complex has affordable housing for families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. 

One resident told 22News getting off the waiting list and into her unit was a long process. 

“Oh god like three years,” said Yolanda Roman of Hadley. “But if you don’t know anyone, how are you going to get on that list? The waiting list and it’s a big list. And they do it in order.” 

Hadley has been slowly changing its zoning bylaws, opening up more of the town for housing development. Zoning updates currently require a 2/3 majority vote.  

The Baker Administration proposed the Housing Choice Bill to change that requirement to a simple majority, to help towns plan for and build the kinds of housing they need.  

“There aren’t a lot of options for people to be able to afford,” said Roman. 

Polito said if the region wants more economic and population growth, you’ll need places for people to live. 

“In order for that to happen, you need to have good schools, you need to have economic opportunities, but you need to have places that people can access, and you need to have affordable living options,” Lt. Gov. Polito told 22News. 

The Housing Choice Bill is in the state legislature, awaiting approval. 

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