MILTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell filed suit Tuesday against the Town of Milton for failure to comply with the MBTA Communities Law, a bipartisan law that addresses the Commonwealth’s housing affordability crisis by requiring municipalities served by the MBTA to have at least one reasonably sized district where multi-family housing can be built.

Tuesday’s lawsuit follows a town referendum that voted down the creation of a multi-family housing district that would have complied with the MBTA Communities Law.

About 177 communities are subject to the MBTA Communities Law, and 12 of these had a deadline of Dec. 31, 2023 to enact a compliant zoning district. The town of Milton developed a compliant zoning district to submit to the state, but in February, voters in the town overturned it.

“The housing affordability crisis affects all of us: families who face impossible choices between food on the table or a roof over their heads, young people who want to live here but are driven away by the cost, and a growing workforce we cannot house.” Campbell said, in a statement. “The MBTA Communities Law was enacted to address our region-wide need for housing, and compliance with it is mandatory.”

“We need every community to come together and do their part to make housing more affordable. I’m grateful to Attorney General Campbell and her team for taking this important step today to enforce compliance with the MBTA Communities Law. This is not just about one community – but about the future of our workforce, our economy, and our entire state,” Gov. Maura T. Healey said in a statement.

The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, asks the court to order Milton to come into compliance with the law.

In response, Milton said, “We are reviewing the complaint filed by the Attorney General and we look forward to defending the Town. The Milton Select Board is meeting tonight to discuss the complaint and the Town’s next steps.”

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