REALTORS® Defeat Anti-Growth Proposal in Ipswich, MA

October 28, 2020

- By Catherine Rollins

With public opposition from the North Shore Associations of REALTORS®, an anti-growth proposal that would have had a chilling effect on local housing inventory was soundly defeated, showing that the REALTOR® voice is truly important in informing local policy outcomes in Massachusetts.

At a Special Town Meeting in Ipswich on October 17, voters rejected a proposed development moratorium that would have stopped any new multi-unit residential development proposals from moving forward for a period of 2 years. The proposal, which required a 2/3 majority vote to pass, failed to receive even simple majority support with a vote of 88-109.

letter signed by Cynthia Nina-Soto, 2020 North Shore Association of REALTORS® President and Betty Slatko, Ipswich Resident and 2016 North Shore Association of REALTORS® President, ran in Wicked Local Ipswich the day prior to the vote.

“As REALTORS®, we know that housing is at the core of the economy and key to sustained community growth. Without the production of new housing of all types, the housing market will contract, with negative impacts to Ipswich’s economy right at a time when economic recovery is so essential to the community’s well-being,” wrote Nina-Soto and Slatko. “Residents of Ipswich deserve the opportunity to live in high-quality housing that suits their needs and stage of life- whether that means a rental apartment for a recent college graduate or a condo for a downsizing senior couple. This is key to creating and sustaining a community that can meet the housing needs of all of its residents.”

The letter also addressed existing town control over proposed development, local concerns around water availability and usage, and implications of the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law.

The communication strategy around the proposed moratorium was a collaboration of NSAR leadership and professional staff, including the NSAR Government Affairs Committee and Rapid Response Team, and the MAR Advocacy Team.

If there are local policy issues pending in your community that may benefit from REALTOR® involvement, or to learn more about how local policy can affect your business, please reach out to Catherine Rollins, MAR Local Policy Manager, at or 781-839-5503.