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Action for Regional Equity (Action!)-a coalition of 18 Massachusetts equity organizations united to address continuing disparities in affordable housing, transportation investment, and environmental justice-has developed strategies to address the critical development challenges facing the Commonwealth. By recognizing the connection between these issues, Action! identifies policy solutions that share benefits and burdens of growth fairly across communities. Advancing regional equity involves reducing social and economic disparities among individuals, social groups, neighborhoods, and local jurisdictions throughout a metropolitan area. It means reversing patterns that have concentrated poverty, segregated communities, and limited opportunities for lower-income residents of the region. It means creating policies that value vital working class communities, strengthen a region, and benefit all of its residents. To achieve regional equity, it is necessary to:
Make environmental justice and social equity central components of regional development;
Integrate solutions to public transit, affordable housing, workforce development, and open space issues;
Prevent displacement of low-income residents through mechanisms that connect them to opportunities, resources, and the political process; and
Balance land use decisions across jurisdictions.
In 2008, Action! will focus on critical issues in affordable housing and transportation equity, commencing with findings from its recently released reports on the opportunities to increase housing in nonprofit and community control, and ways to ensure equity in the growth of transit oriented development throughout the state.