The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) seeks candidates for the position of Senior Housing and Land Use Planner to join the agency’s Housing Working Group within the Land Use Department. The ideal candidate has a passion for housing as a tool to advance equity and create great places. The Senior Planner will manage a wide range of projects requiring considerable technical skills and expertise in data collection and analysis, federal and state housing policy and programming and Massachusetts zoning, residential and Affordable Housing development, displacement risk and mitigation, community engagement, and client relations. This individual will work independently and collaboratively to expand housing choice, opportunity, and stability in the Metro Boston region through citywide housing plans, district zoning initiatives, site-level re/development processes, strategic plans for regional or local entities, and other projects. Oftentimes, these efforts will prove controversial and require tactical communications and advocacy work, as well as political navigating. The Senior Planner will also work from time to time on efforts to develop or improve state and federal policies that will advance MAPC’s housing goals. They will oversee multi-person project teams and will report to the Chief of Housing and Neighborhood Development.
This is an opportunity to work as part of a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and innovative team of professionals who are committed to building a more sustainable and equitable future for Metro Boston.
MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. We are guided by MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region, our regional policy plan for a more sustainable and equitable future, which was adopted in 2008. We are currently finalizing a successor regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together, which we expect to complete in Fall 2021. MAPC’s staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office.
MAPC has been operating remotely through the pandemic, but people are now beginning to return to the office. We anticipate the office will reopen fully only when the metrics we are following indicate it is safe to do so. At that time, we expect that most staff will be working on a hybrid schedule, combining time in the office with remote work.
MAPC strongly supports the professional development of each and every staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region. We encourage all our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC’s planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times.
This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and innovative environment with professionals who are committed to building a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone who lives and works in Greater Boston. For more information about MAPC, MetroFuture, and MetroCommon, please visit www.mapc.org.
Examples of Duties
- Manage project teams on city/town-wide plans and neighborhood plans, equitable transit-oriented development plans, rezoning efforts, and other project types
- Work independently to undertake and complete Housing Production Plans; housing elements of master plans; strategic plans for local committees, trusts, and other entities; research studies; and other project types
- Draft zoning, permitting procedures, and design guidelines to create more and better housing or mixed-use development, with a particular emphasis on Affordable Housing
- Assist communities with developing inclusionary zoning strategies, conducting pre-development analyses, and facilitating housing re/development through the procurement process (RFI, RFQ, RFP)
- Develop strategies to effectively utilize public resources for housing purposes, such as for new programs, a Regional Housing Services Office, an Office of Housing Stability, an Affordable Housing Trust, or various committees
- Conduct research and data analysis, such as housing market analyses, assessment of housing needs, and audits of local tools
- Develop and use data-driven methodologies to assess development constraints and identify opportunities
- Research and prepare reports, studies, and presentations on best practices pertaining to housing, housing market trends, public policies and programs, housing impacts, development barriers, and the like
- Design, organize, and facilitate public forums, workshops, and other digital and in-person community engagement events
- Develop housing communications campaigns to raise awareness, educate the public, and build support for housing initiatives
Evening events, occasional weekend events, and local travel are a responsibility for this position. MAPC does not require that you have a vehicle; however, you must have a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC provides support for travel, including a Zipcar account and BlueBikes membership.
Candidates for this position must have either a Master’s degree in urban/regional planning, real estate development, public policy/management, urban design/architecture, or a closely related field and at least 5 years of relevant job experience, or a Bachelor’s degree plus 7 years of relevant job experience.
Successful candidates for this position will demonstrate all or most of the following:
- Experience leading and managing housing planning and zoning projects
- Experience providing planning and zoning assistance to local government
- Knowledge of federal, state, and local housing and land use policies, laws, regulations, and programs, such as M.G.L. Chapter 40B and 40R, the Community Preservation Act, HOME, CDBG, and Fair Housing
- Strong research skills and ability to work with large quantitative data sets to discern trends in demography, real estate, etc.
- Familiarity with pro formas to test inclusionary and other zoning and development scenarios a plus
- Knowledge of municipal governance structures
- Understanding of Affordable Housing finance and development and the state’s capital sources for Affordable Housing production are a plus
- Ability to use GIS effectively is a plus
- Ability to write coherent documents ranging from technical reports to compelling materials for laypeople
- Demonstrable creative thinking, particularly about how to message housing issues and efforts and build support for housing strategies
- Community outreach and engagement skills, especially with diverse populations of community stakeholders, government officials, and others, in both urban and suburban settings
- Strong verbal communication and facilitation skills, including the ability to achieve consensus and resolve disputes in community engagement
- Ability to design visual communications materials, including presentations, boards, and handouts
- Ability to manage a significant workload consisting of multiple, varied, and complex projects, sometimes with competing priorities
- Project management skills, including delegation, quality control, budget management, and organizational skills
- Ability to work on a team, coordinate with others, and collaborate on project work
- Ability to work independently, self start, and follow through on assigned tasks
- Strong sense of responsibility and accountability to manager and teammates
Compensation and Benefits:
The salary ranges from $65,000 – $75,000, depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time exempt position. MAPC offers excellent Massachusetts state employee benefits as well as a flexible, supportive, and family-friendly work environment and a commitment to continued professional development.
How to Apply:
Apply online at www.mapc.org/jobs. The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. Candidates selected to interview will be asked to submit three (3) references plus a sample of relevant writing or work product. Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC participates in E-Verify, which is a federal program that helps us to determine work eligibility in the United States.
MAPC is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We believe that a staff with a range of perspectives, experiences, and skillsets strengthens our work. We are committed to building a more equitable workplace that allows staff with diverse backgrounds and identities to thrive, grow, and lead. For more information on MAPC’s culture of equity, see our Equity at MAPC page.