BOSTON (WWLP) – Since Governor Maura Healey’s inaugural address, housing has been at the forefront of her administration. Monday at a hearing, she spoke on why she hopes to create a separate agency to address the housing crisis in the state.

Committee members listened to the Healey Administration explain their reasoning as to why they want to divide the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development into two agencies. Members of the State Administration and Regulatory Oversight committee heard about the importance of streamlining the focus on housing.

Healey spoke on the urgency of this matter and the need to address housing insecurity and homelessness. The Governor said she sees western Massachusetts playing a role in housing development.

“One thing the Lt. Governor and I have talked about is the need to target resources, funding, for preservation and rehabilitation and I think there are great examples of that and opportunities in western Massachusetts. So it’s not just about new starts, its about creating housing by repurposing some existing buildings, looking at our inventory of even public land, and also making sure that we’re targeting funds to preservation and rehabilitation,” said Healey.

Massachusetts is one of the top states for out-migration and it is estimated that the state is short 200,000 units.

As for next steps, the committee has ten days to vote on the proposal. If it passes the committee, it will then go to the Legislature which has 60 days to hold a vote.