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Housing: MBTA Communities 101 (Virtual)

MBTA Communities Rev

Commonwealth of MA

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community



Join us for a presentation and conversation on MBTA communities with Chris Kluchman from the Department of Housing and Community Development, Commonwealth of MA, and Public Policy consultant Amy Dain.

Chris Kluchman will present on requirements of the MBTA Communities zoning law. The law, adopted in 2021, requires communities served by the MBTA to have at least one zoning district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right and meets other criteria such as a minimum gross density of 15 units per acre, location near a transit station, if applicable, and suitability for families with children. Amy Dain will present on potential locations for new zoning districts, as well as the specific need to zone for family-suitable multi-family housing.

This new law requires that an MBTA community shall have at least one zoning district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right and meets other criteria set forth in the statute:

- Minimum gross density of 15 units per acre

- Located not more than 0.5 miles from a commuter rail station, subway station, ferry terminal or bus station, if applicable

- No age restrictions and suitable for families with children

On August 10, 2022, DHCD issued the final guidelines to determine if an MBTA community is in compliance with Section 3A. Find a copy of the Guidelines and other requirements at the program web pages: Multi-Family Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities |

Amy Dain is a consultant in public policy research and writing. She has written several landmark reports on zoning policy in Massachusetts, as well as a primer on MBTA Communities zoning. Her career has been a tour of Massachusetts-based think tanks. She is a frequent presenter on zoning and housing policy. In 2019, she wrote the State of Zoning for Multi-Family Housing in Greater Boston, a survey of zoning and plans in 100 cities and towns of Greater Boston. In 2008, she launched the StatNet initiative, a community of practice for municipal managers interested in data-driven decision-making. She received her Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School. Her reports and articles can be found at

Chris Kluchman, FAICP Deputy Director, Community Services Division, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Chris oversees and coordinates programs in the Community Services Division including land use, economic development, and several technical assistance programs. She manages several programs including implementation of reforms to MGL c40A and the Housing Choice Initiative. Prior to her work for the Commonwealth, she worked for the Town of Westford, MA as the Director of Land Use Management. She worked in Oregon for the first half of her career, including co-founding a planning firm. In 2016, Chris was recognized for outstanding contributions to the field of planning as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She has a BA in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Haverford College.