Ballot Monday on $1m. bond to fund the Affordable Housing Trust
The Town of Medfield has an election next Monday on the Proposition 2 1/2 override we already voted on positively at the annual town meeting (ATM). We have an election Monday because proposition 2 1/2 overrides have to pass at both a town meeting and by a ballot.
I had two residents ask at my office hours this morning what the election Monday was about, so hence this explanation.
The $1m. bond the election seeks to fund provides monies to the newly created Affordable Housing Trust, and those monies can be used by the Affordable Housing Trust to assist future affordable housing projects in town to get completed.
The one example where those monies could already have assisted the town, if we had had the monies available, was to bridge a funding gap for a community mental health center that was looking to buy a house in town in which to site a group home, but their finances were about $100,000 short of the price at which a suitable house recently sold. If the Affordable Housing Trust had then existed and had available monies to assist, it may have offered to provide funds to bridge the financial gap. That group home would have netted the town five affordable units (SHI), as each bed in a group home counts as one SHI.
The $1m. that a positive outcome in the election Monday funds will provided the needed flexibility to make some affordable housing projects actually happen that the town will want. To keep the town in a safe harbor the town needs to build twenty-one SHI per year for the next eight years, as we are short about 160 SHI to be at 10%. We also need to build extras, as a new higher number of units in town will result from the 2020 census, on which the Department of Housing and Community Development will base our new 10% safe harbor number.
That $1m. can also pay a staff person that the town needs to have working on developing affordable housing, if we want to get to the 10% safe harbor that will allow the town to say no to unfriendly 40B’s. Hiring a staff person will save us money over continuing to pay our current affordable housing consultants.
Below is a flyer about the election from the hugely active Dale Street neighborhood group that mobilized around the Mega-B –