2011 housing production called dreadful

2011 housing production called dreadful

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A local housing and planning group has labeled 2011 a “historically dreadful” year for housing production in Massachusetts, the State House News Service reported.

According to Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association Inc., recent Census data showed 20 percent fewer building permits were sought last year, compared to 2010. The group said construction permits were issued for 7,260 homes in Massachusetts last year, the lowest number since the Census started recording that type of data in 1960.

By comparison, there were 17,034 building permits issued in 2001 and 12,672 in 1991. CHAPA says federal spending cuts have curtailed affordable housing development while “restrictive” local zoning has played a factor in the state’s low historic levels of overall housing production. The group is calling on Congress to retain affordable housing production tax credits and on Beacon Hill to pass changes to enable construction of smaller homes on smaller lot and more multifamily housing units in “smart growth” locations.