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Hodge discusses fiscal benefits of low sprawl, multifamily housing at Massachusetts Smart Growth Conference

Dan Hodge, director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the UMass Donahue Institute participated in a panel discussion at the 2013 Massachusetts Smart Growth Conference, an annual event bringing government, business leaders and public policy experts together to discuss and promote strategies for sustainable municipal development throughout the Commonwealth.

Hodge presented data and analysis of the fiscal benefits of smart growth and multi-family housing for an era that’s seen a decline in family size and an increase in commuting times. Providing support for incentives that encourage compact development and citing challenges faced by budget-strapped municipalities, he demonstrated how smart growth land use development can lead to reduced infrastructure and operating and maintenance costs, while bringing in higher property tax revenue per acre.

While results can vary significantly by municipality or region, fiscal cost savings can be achieved for both large urban areas as well as smaller, more rural communities. Hodge discussed the findings of national case studies and a study he conducted in New Hampshire that measured the environmental and social implications of smart growth in comparison to sprawled development, citing inititiatives throughout Massachusetts that focus on increasing housing supply and locate it near public transit and rail stations as promising efforts to help communities save money. His presentation is available here.

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UMass Donahue Institute

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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