Norwell: Senator Hedlund, Representative Nyman discuss 40B affordable housing law

Massachusetts State Senator Bob Hedlund and State Representative Rhonda Nyman appeared before the Norwell Board of Selectmen Wednesday night, to discuss the controversial issue of the state’s 40B affordable housing law.

Norwell Selectmen Chair Ellen Allen began by stating the board’s concerns regarding the possible impacts of the Simon Hill 40B affordable housing proposal.

Democrat State Representative Rhonda Nyman said there are 40 bills currently in the state housing appeals committee to reform the contentious 40B law.

“Currently there are 40 bills in the housing committee right now and they had a hearing on October 22 and they heard testimony on all 40 bills. I don’t know how much movement’s going to take place regarding that. But there was a lot of conversation, I must say, regarding mobile homes – maybe adding that to the inventory.”

But Republican Senator Bob Hedlund says he’s sponsored many of those 40 bills and they’re just not moving forward.

“You mention the 40 bills that are sitting in housing. Many of those bills are mine. They’re not going anywhere. It’s a big joke right now,” Hedlund said.

 Hedlund said the board should put pressure on the Massachusetts Municipal Association, to advocate for 40B reform.

“Your voice on Beacon Hill is supposed to be MMA and they’ve been absolutely profiles in cowardice on this issue and nowhere to be found. I would just continue to hammer them, to try to bring some reform to this or some change. It should be their mission to return some local control and some sanity to this law.” 

Selectmen are sending a letter to Governor Deval Patrick listing their concerns with the 40B law.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.