BOSTON (State House News Service) – Gov. Maura Healey has begun looking for a housing secretary to fulfill a long-promised campaign pledge as the Legislature gears up to take action on her plan to officially create the role.

The Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight favorably reported Healey’s plan to create a standalone housing secretariat on Tuesday, and committee co-chair Sen. Nick Collins said he anticipates a vote in the Senate on the matter next Thursday, April 13.

Healey’s reorganization proposal (H 43) would split the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development into two separate departments, each led by someone in a Cabinet-level position. She argues that the separate secretariat would marshall resources to create and preserve housing in the midst of an affordability and shortage crisis across the state.

“The Governor’s reorganization plan is only the first step in what we expect will be a continuing collaboration with the Legislature, municipal officials, and key stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth to increase the production of new housing over the long term,” the State Administration Committee report said. “The key provisions of the bill charge the new Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities with developing a full array of additional new housing policies that will expand the supply of affordable, accessible housing across the Commonwealth.”

The Legislature has until April 30 to approve or disapprove of the proposal, which is 60 days after Healey filed the plan on March 1. If lawmakers do not act on it before the April 30 deadline, it will automatically take effect. If both branches approve the reorganization, then it will take effect 30 days after enactment.

The committee report was filed in the House clerk’s office, so it will need to move through the House before it can be acted on in the Senate.

Healey spokesperson Karissa Hand confirmed on Thursday that the administration has begun the search to find a housing and livable communities secretary.

On the 17-person State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee, 15 lawmakers recommended that the Legislature approve the measure. Sen. Bruce Tarr reserved his rights and committee Vice Chair Rep. Chynah Tyler is not listed as having voted to recommend the matter. Neither Tyler’s office nor Chair Rep. Antonio Cabral responded to questions on how Tyler voted.

“This legislation elevates the ability of our commonwealth to respond to the housing crisis by ensuring it is given cabinet level attention,” Collins said. “I commend Gov. Healey for her leadership and action on tackling the housing crisis and this is a significant step towards that end. I am proud to see this bill reported favorably by our committee, and look forward to supporting it as it moves forward.”

The committee outlined what they considered to be “high points” of the governor’s plan, which include making the Economic Development Incentive Program’s goals more expansive and establishing that rail-trail construction grants are subject to appropriation.

Another highlight lawmakers circled is creation of a new infrastructure cost council, which would develop demographic projections for the state’s population trends and use that information to estimate the costs of housing-related infrastructure such as sewers.

The committee also applauded a provision that would create an employment assistance and training program designed by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development to improve worker skills, especially in urban and poor areas.

Another section of the plan would put the contracts with financial assistance sponsors of rental housing projects under the purview of the new executive office. The committee also highlighted provisions that would expand these contracts in housing development areas, and ensure that at least 25 percent of the units in low and moderate income rental housing is occupied by those with low incomes.

It also identified Healey’s proposed “HousingWorks” as a “high point.” This program would be similar to the MassWorks municipal infrastructure grant program, and it would fund municipal infrastructure that supports new or redeveloped housing.

There is no allocated funding for HousingWorks in the governor’s plan, and money would come from a bond authorization similar to MassWorks, which just received $400 million to recapitalize the program in a supplemental budget Healey signed last week.

Committee member Rep. Rodney Elliott of Lowell said last week that the plan “brings fresh air” to the effort to address housing shortages across the state.

“I think it’s a bold move, but we need bold moves to catch up,” he said.