BOSTON (WWLP) – In her inaugural speech, Governor Maura Healey committed to create a Secretary of Housing to address high housing costs and the Senate voted in favor of making that new cabinet position.

Currently, Housing is addressed under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, which Secretary Yvonne Hao oversees. Healey’s plan is to split that office into two, so both Housing and Economic development can be the sole focus of Hao and whoever Healey appoints.

Healey believes by creating a separate secretary, it will increase resources and preserve housing. In her inaugural address, she said she has directed her “Secretary of Administration and Finance to identify unused state-owned land and facilities” that the state can then “turn into rental housing or homes within one year.”

Even though this passed in the senate, it does not necessarily have to be passed by the house, but a vote in the house would speed things up. If the House does not act by April 30, the measure is considered enacted.

In Healey’s plan, she stated that action on this reorganization would take effect 30 days after enactment.