Detail For Show: Not In My Back Yard - Deconstructing Massachusetts Law Chapter 40B

Show Description:

This film deconstructs Massachusetts’ Comprehensive Permit Law (affordable housing statute), commonly called Chapter 40B.

This controversial law requires that 10% of a city or town’s total housing stock be affordable, according to state guidelines. If that threshold has not been met, a developer is allowed to by-pass a municipalities’ zoning laws, providing that developer makes 20-25% of the units built, “affordable.”

The statute is up for repeal on the November 2010 ballot.

Notes to Stations About This Show:

When a 40B project came to my neighborhood, I attended a town meeting to learn more. The filmmaker in me thought to bring my camera and so I started recording the meetings. I interviewed experts to try to understand what the law is and how it works, or doesn’t work as I would come to believe. I met with Governor Michael Dukakis who had strong ideas about the “right way to create affordable housing.” I met with local Senators Bob Greene (D) and Robert Hedlund (R). I met with builders and consultants. What I discovered was that the law has become a misused tool that is exacerbating the rising cost of housing throughout the state.

The production quality is great given the very small budget of the film. From the fantastic shots of the historic Shovel Shop Square to the personal stories told, the film unfolds from the point of view of the residents, the lawmakers, builders and consultants with whom I interviewed and of course the meetings I recorded. I hope this film will provide the residents of Massachusetts the information they need to make an educated decision as they cast their vote on ballot question 2 in the November mid-term election.

Type of Show: Documentary

Target Viewing Market: Local to Target State or Province

State of Production and/or Target State or Province: Massachusetts

Frequency of Episodes: One time show

Show Producer: Joseph A. Conforti Films

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