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Could the courts help solve Boston’s housing crisis? Jerold Kayden explores the topic in Architecture Boston

An article by Jerold S. Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, appears in the Winter 2016 issue of Architecture Boston magazine. Kayden’s piece, entitled “The Level of the Law,” proposes challenging current Massachusetts zoning law in the courts as a path to more affordable housing in the region. It is part of a series, titled “Getting to Yes,” that examines innovative ways to help Boston achieve its goal of creating 53,000 new units of housing by 2030.

“The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is one of the nation’s leading courts in finding rights in the state constitution before they are found in the federal constitution,” Kayden writes, referencing the 2003 Goodridge v. Department of Health conclusion that barring an individual from the benefits of civil marriage solely based on sexual orientation violated the state constitution. “It is time for someone to put before the court the possibility that a suburb’s unwillingness to zone enough land for development of multifamily housing affordable to lower-income families is similarly problematic.”

Read Kayden's full thoughts, alongside four other pieces on increasing Boston's housing supply, at Architecture Boston‘s website.