This today from Suzanne Siino’s Medfield Inclusion Project.
YOUR TOWN, YOUR 40B
If you think our 40B issues are behind us after Mass Housing’s denial of Medfield Meadows, think again.
Since 1969, Mass Chapter 40B Law mandates that 10% of EVERY towns housing inventory be affordable. Medfield has 4220 housing units. Currently, we have 283 units designated as affordable. We are short by 139 units.
Medfield’s newly approved Housing Production Plan (HPP) is a blueprint to our 40B future. It is Medfield’s vision and commitment to the development of future subsidized housing. Do you share this vision? Take the time to read the document. It’s on the towns website.
Medfield has “Safe Harbor” from future unwanted or unfriendly 40B developments (like Medfield Meadows) ONLY if we create 0.5% (of 4220) or 21 units of affordable housing every year until we reach the 10% goal. Two new 40B projects, the Bike Shop rental project and the Hospital Rd ownership project will give us a one-year reprieve once they are permitted. It’s vital we begin to plan for 2018 and beyond, or risk exposure to unwanted 40B once again.
Medfield is a bucolic town with top-ranked schools. The cost of land and the average home prices are well above the state median. There is very little, if any, state or federal funding for development of subsidized housing. This presents financial challenges for towns, housing authorities and developers.
More than 80 communities in the Commonwealth have created Affordable Housing Trusts (AHT) since 2006 to address this issue. . AHT’s have a Board of Trustees whose purpose is to create and preserve affordable housing. More importantly, they rely on the voices of the citizens, the goals of the HPP, and the Town’s Master Plan to proactively and creatively plan 40B housing. Long term revenue funding of the Trust can be achieved creatively in over 40 ways, including Inclusionary Zoning Funds and CPA (Community Preservation Act) funds.
At Town Meeting on April 24, you will be asked to vote on Articles 16 and 17; the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust (AHT) and its initial funding of one million dollars. These monies will simply get the ball rolling for the first year until the Trust establishes its funding mechanisms.
There’s a lot to learn and much at stake. In October, the High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of residents passionately protesting the mega 40B. We need that same energy now!
Come listen to the experts from COG (Community Opportunities Group) the town’s consultants, ask questions, and let your voice be heard. It’s your town, and it can be your 40B too!
Please attend the Affordable Housing Workshop, Tuesday, 4/11, 7 pm at The Center.
Medfield Inclusion Project