After World War II, Acton made a rapid transition from being a small community largely based on agriculture, to being a bedroom community for generally well-off people who cared about excellent schools, houses and property where they could grow their wealth, and access by car to jobs primarily in the area around Boston. The number of houses grew rapidly, and unbuilt land rapidly disappeared. Now, new housing in Acton is still sought after, but is somewhat constrained by zoning and the availability of unbuilt land that can be developed. The priorities of the state and town have also shifted somewhat, and now the need for more affordable housing is more widely recognized, both to house the people that work already in and near Acton and can’t afford most of what the market has to offer; and as part of a larger effort to provide housing regionally and statewide to those of smaller incomes for whom there are not enough places to live affordably.
Green Acton recognizes the need to bring access to those that have been historically excluded from good housing choices, including poor people, racial minorities, and those with disabilities. It has been an ongoing challenge within Green Acton to balance that need with the recognition that each new housing development comes with an environmental cost.