MBTA Communities Toolkit

Getting Started

In January 2021, the Massachusetts State Legislature passed a state-wide zoning reform bill, The MBTA Communities Act, that requires all communities with or near transit to zone for multi-family housing. Abundant Housing MA is providing resources for grassroots organizations and local advocates to educate their communities on this fairly new and important law along with tools to help build more multi-family homes in their neighborhoods.

Organizing & Messaging Tools

Please click on the photo to access the document. Direct links can also be found below.

Training Videos

Data Training: Using Data to Inform Your Pro-Housing Advocacy

Media Advocacy Training: How to become an effective communicator

MBTA Communities: Next Steps for Advocates towards implementation!

Just Action: How to challenge housing segregation and build people-centered communities

Building a Pro-Housing Super Force in Your Town: Inspiration from Brookline

For messaging targeted to your specific local community, check out how some of our local partners frame the MBTA CA and how it applies to their particular landscape in Newton, Arlington and Brookline

Members ONLY: How to respond to NIMBY/Anti-Housing concerns and myths. Please email info@abudanthousingma.org for this document.



Research and Supporting Materials

A special thank you to our partner organization, Equitable Arlington, for curating and collecting key materials on zoning and housing.


Research reports:

“Zoned out: Why Massachusetts needs to legalize apartments near transit,” joint report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and Boston Indicators Project at the Boston Foundation, October 21, 2020.  This full data-driven research report makes the case for zoning for multifamily housing near transit as a way to address racial and economic segregation, lack of housing supply and untenable housing costs and the climate change consequences of living in car dependent communities.  

“The data packed case for how increasing production can help solve the affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts” Housing Forward Massachusetts’ brief, data-driven research report has a valuable section on addressing affordability concerns about the growth of market rate housing supply.

“Waning Influence of housing production on public school enrollment,” Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), October 2017.  Suburban housing opponents often bring up the concern about increased school enrollment with new housing production.  This data-driven research report demonstrates housing production is not an accurate predictor of school enrollment and that in fact, there has been a well documented decline in school enrollment in many suburban school districts. 

Next Steps

This toolkit will continue to evolve as we add more requested resources.  Please send your suggestions for other items we can include that would be useful for other pro housing advocates in our statewide network.

Join our movement!  Join AHMA as an individual member or as an institutional partner.  If you want AHMA to support you in starting a new pro housing group in your town, please reach out to us at info@abundanthousingma.org.  

Join us as a member