Just back from Framingham State University’s annual MERC conference on the Greater MetroWest economy. MERC, the MetroWest Economic Research Center, has been gathering data for more than 25 years. The focus of this year’s conference (co-sponsored by Denterlein) was ‘High Stakes Housing—How Today’s Decisions are Shaping Tomorrow’s Greater MetroWest’.
Keynoter Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash says, “all the planets are aligning” for the Commonwealth’s economy. That means more people, more jobs, and a growing need for housing.
MetroWest housing prices are nearly twice the national average—and the region needs more housing. One study suggests Metro-Boston needs 200-thousand more units through 2030.
Ash says one key is building the type of housing millennials want: urban rental units close to transportation, work, and culture, and for a generation of workers burdened by student debt, affordable.
Ash’s message to communities, “If you want to be in the 21st century, build, baby, build.”
Thanks to the great panelists who contributed to the conference, including:
- Michael Goodman, Executive Director for UMass Dartmouth’s Public Policy Center
- Aaron Gornstein, President & CEO for the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)
- Mary Ellen Kelley, Administration and Finance Director for the City of Framingham
- Meredith Harris, Executive Director for the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation
- Michael Resteghini, Project Executive for F.H. Perry Builder