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.