BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Maura Healey swore in Ed Augustus as Secretary of Housing and Liveable Communities.

Massachusetts is in the midst of a housing crisis, and the state now has a person in charge of overseeing the needs of the Commonwealth. Former City Manager of Worcester, Ed Augustus, was sworn in Thursday to the position. This comes after Healey filed legislation in March creating the new position.

The legislation separated the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and created its own secretariat. Augustus spoke on the growing need for housing saying that it is “immediate” but didn’t get into much specifics.

He did say that the administration is working on finding unused state land that could be turned into housing, something Healey said during her inaugural address.

Housing has been a topic of discussion this week at the State House, first with housing advocates speaking before the Joint Committee on Housing this week. The HOMES Act was pushed, which would seal eviction records in certain cases.

A rally was also held Thursday outside the State House for rent stabilization and foreclosure protections. Now, Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll has said that the state needs to create 200,000 housing units to “close the gap” in Massachusetts.

When it comes to the emergency shelter program, Augustus said expanding that program is a priority of his. Secretary Augustus is the first Housing Secretary in more than 30 years.

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Ellen Fleming is a reporter at the Boston State House who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Ellen on X @EllenFlem and view her bio to see more of her work.