The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Policy of 1969 (known as the ‘Anti-Snob Zoning Act’, or simply 40B), is one of the most admirable and controversial acts in the history of the state. It was intended to break through the exclusionary ‘snob’ zoning that was customary in United States suburbs at the time, and to open the suburbs to low- and moderate-income residents by encouraging the production of affordable housing statewide. The paper analyses 40B and the modifications it has undergone over the years in light of the relation between centralized state power and decentralized local government power with regard to planning. Understanding of the changes in local–state power relations can provide an explanation for the changes that have occurred over the years in implementing the law. The findings suggest that mutual learning, and understandings developed over the years among all involved, can provide the greatest benefit to low- and moderate-income residents.
- affordable housing
- exclusionary zoning
- low- and moderate-income
- state/local government relations