To the editor:

To quote Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, “There isn’t enough housing to go around. Ask any local employer, and they’ll tell you that housing prices are a major obstacle to attracting or retaining top talent.” 

According to U.S. News, Massachusetts ranks in the bottom 10 for affordability among states, and housing is a key component. Lack of affordable housing is taking a toll on businesses, the workforce and the economy. Recent college graduates and potential employees have to second-guess job offers because affordable housing is not available close enough to their places of work. And we hear all the time from business leaders in our network that they are struggling to attract top talent who are instead choosing to live and work in less expensive cities.

The good news is that the Commonwealth has a wealth of options to alleviate some of the pressure on the housing market, including the governor’s housing choice bill, but one tool alone won’t solve the crisis. Taking on more comprehensive reforms such as requirements for multi-family housing, accessory dwelling units, and inclusionary zoning practices will be key to us making a real difference. The health of communities like Salem, and economy is at stake, and we can’t afford to wait any longer to tackle this crisis.

Meagan Greene

Vice president

The Alliance for Business Leadership