There is a housing crisis in Mass. Still, 2300 state housing units sit empty

Download Audio

Massachusetts is in the midst of a housing crisis. Just last month, Governor Maura Healey declared an emergency in the state's family shelter system, through which a record number of people are desperately trying to obtain housing.

And yet, a new investigation from WBUR and ProPublica found that there are nearly 2300 units of state public housing sitting empty across the Commonwealth –– sometimes for years at a time.

Todd Wallack is an investigative correspondent with WBUR. He joins The Common to discuss why valuable public housing units are allowed to remain unoccupied, and the challenges housing officials have filling them.

Producer's note: After this interview was recorded, state housing officials announced that they are launching a 90-day effort to reduce the number of vacancies in state public housing by the end of 2023 as a response to the impactful reporting described in this episode. 

Headshot of Darryl C. Murphy

Darryl C. Murphy Host
Darryl C. Murphy is the host of WBUR's daily news and culture podcast, "The Common."


Headshot of Frannie Monahan

Frannie Monahan Podcast Producer
Frannie Monahan is a producer for WBUR’s daily news and culture podcast, "The Common."



More from The Common

Listen Live