Chapter 40B

Chapter 40B is one of the state's most successful affordable housing production tools, with over 70,000 homes created across the state.

Also known as the Comprehensive Permit Law, Chapter 40B was enacted in 1969 to help expand the number of communities and neighborhoods where households with low and moderate incomes could secure a safe, affordable home. In 2010, 58% of voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly supported keeping Chapter 40B as a tool for providing affordable homes for people of all ages.

In addition to serving as a Monitoring Agent, CHAPA hosts forums, trainings, and ongoing education efforts on Chapter 40B. For upcoming 40B events, please check our CHAPA events calendar. To review policy information and guidelines on Chapter 40B please refer to the “Chapter 40B Policy & Publications” section below.

If you are a current or future 40B tenant or homeowner, please see our Chapter 40B monitoring page for resources.


Chapter 40B Policy & Publications

-Updated in 2014
-Updated by DHCD December 2014
-Used to measure a community's stock of low-or moderate-income housing for the purposes of M.G.L. Chapter 40B, the Comprehensive Permit Law.
-The “Local 40B Review and Decision Guidelines”, published in 2005 by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), was the first practical guide for zoning boards of appeals. In 2008, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) revised Ch. 40B regulations and created state guidelines for Chapter 40B projects. DHCD’s guidelines were revised again in 2012 and 2014. This second edition updates the original publication and incorporates DHCD’s regulation and guideline changes. 
-Report written by Rachel Bratt, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University. February 10, 2012
- ZBA 40B Training Published October 1, 2011
- Report by Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Graduate Students. May 2009 
-Click here to search archived 40B reports by date and/or title.