News in Briefs

By Phil Orlandella

City launches Housing Innovation Competition for compact living units

 Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the launch of the City’s first Housing Innovation Competition.  The Housing Innovation Competition is intended to determine if innovatively designed compact units combined with reduced development costs will result in financially feasible developments with a mix of affordable price points.

The Housing Innovation Competition is part of Mayor Walsh’s call for Boston to become a national and international leader in pioneering innovative housing models to serve the needs of Boston’s current and future residents.

“We want Boston to be a place that all residents can call home,” said Mayor Walsh in a press release. “To do so, we must look beyond the options that currently exist and activate new and original ideas. The Housing Innovation Competition is a chance for Boston to take its place at the forefront of housing innovation.”

Proposals for the Housing Innovation Competition are due Monday, December 19, 2016. DND, BPDA, BSA/AIA, and the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab will host an informational event for interested parties on Thursday, November 10, 2016 from 3:30 – 5:30 PM, at the Boston Society of Architects Space – 290 Congress St #200, Boston.

Mayor joined Comcast executives to kick off the fifth year of “Internet Essentials”

Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined Comcast executives to kick off the fifth year of “Internet Essentials,” a comprehensive broadband adoption program for Boston and Massachusetts residents. The program provides low cost internet, computers and free computer training to participants.

In addition, Mayor Walsh and Comcast will announce that Boston will be part of a pilot program to further expand the reach of Internet Essentials in the City of Boston, raising awareness about the importance of closing the digital divide.

‘Aging without Expiration’ presentation planned

A presentation titled. “Aging without Expiration”, by Ann Webster, Mind/Body specialist, hosted by Beacon Hill Village will be held on Wednesday, November 16 at King’s Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon Street. Admission is free. R.S.V.P to Beacon Hill Village at 617.723.9713, [email protected], or visit to register online (registration is required).

MBTA Urges Customers to Stay Connected This Winter

With Old Man Winter gearing up for what he does best, conjuring up nasty weather, the MBTA has launched its Winter Weather public information campaign urging customers to stay connected during storms and inclement weather.

Commuter Rail, bus and subway riders can go to follow the MBTA on [email protected], and sign up for T-alerts.

The campaign employs digital, social and print media to encourage MBTA riders to get the most updated service information available as they traveled throughout the transit system.

In addition to hundreds of signs inside trains and buses, winter weather messaging is being displayed on digital screens throughout the MBTA.

Registry New Features at MassRMV.Com

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is reminding motorists with vehicle registrations expiring in November and December to renew online at

Motorists will find new website improvements that offer simple, efficient online renewable transactions. The majority of these expiring registrations are commercial and vanity plates.

Motorists are encouraged to visit to process over 25 transactions, access checklists to “Get Ready to Go,” and sign-up to receive RMV News. For the latest Registry updates and information, follow the RMV on [email protected]

MBTA Launches New Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign

The MBTA, as part of a coalition of organizations, launched a new information campaign to enhance passenger safety and encourage the public to report incidents of sexual harassment. The campaign’s message is that sexual assaults will not be tolerated on the T or anywhere else.

This year, the MASS Collaboration, a partnership with the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL), the Boston Area Great Crisis Center (BARCC), the MBTA, and the MBTA Transit Police, developed the campaign with a focus on people with disabilities.

MASS-Movement for Access, Safety & Survivors-is a collaboration whose goal is to ensure that survivors and victims of sexual violence with disabilities in the Boston area have access to quality support services.

State Receives $1,206.525 Grant

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded approximately $1,206.525 to Massachusetts to use for enforcement and oversight of issuer compliance with select Affordable Care Act (ACA) key consumer protections.

In total, CMS awarded approximately $25.5 million to 22 states and the District of Columbia. These awards allow Massachusetts to use the funding for activities related to planning and implementing selected Federal market reforms and consumer protections that may include: essential health benefits, preventive services, parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits, appeal processes, and bringing down the cost of healthcare coverage (also known as medical loss ratio (MLR) provision).

These additional grants will help support Massachusetts’s efforts to make sure their laws, regulations, and procedures are in line with Federal requirements and that states are able to effectively oversee and enforce issuer compliance with consumer protections guaranteed by the ACA. State Departments of Insurance are vital to the oversight of health insurance issuers and are responsible for ensuring premiums are reasonable and justified, companies are solvents, and consumers are protected.

Work Continuing Ahead of Schedule at Toll Plaza 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) toll plaza demolition and road reconstruction activities are either on or ahead of schedule at all 23 work zones on the highway between the New York border and Boston.

Travelers are advised to devote their full attention to driving through these work zones, as several toll plaza locations are scheduled to complete Phase One work this week and therefore lanes of travel will be shifted from the outer areas of former toll booth plazas to the center lanes of travel.

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