Exclusionary zoning in Mass. led to housing shortage, segregation, report says

Exclusionary zoning throughout the last century across Massachusetts has led to the modern housing shortage and racial segregation throughout the state, according to a new report out Wednesday from Boston Indicators.

The report, which studied zoning codes from many of the state’s 351 cities and towns and the history of their creation, reveals that many zoning regulations were intended, explicitly or implicitly, to hinder housing growth and prevent lower-class residents and people of color from moving into town.

“In the mid-century, many municipalities were explicit about their use of zoning for social class positioning,” said Amy Dain, the researcher who wrote the report, during a Zoom presentation of the findings Wednesday morning. “Exclusion was not a side effect … it was a purpose.”

The report classifies exclusionary zoning into three categories: fiscal zoning, class zoning and racial zoning.

Read more.