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An Act By Sen Richard Moore for Reforming 40B

Land Planning Resources

DRAFT GUIDELINES for Affordable Housing LIP (Local Initiative Project) - Useful for All Communities

Link: HAC Regulation Changes for 40B   Smart Growth Sustainability Scorecard      Grafton Affordable Housing   

 To help fight unsustainable or poorly planned 40B Projects   The Nimby Report

Blackstone Valley's Affordable Housing Committees:

Millbury: James Fitzpatrick, James Schiff, Chair, Harry Swenson, Joan Raymond - Cordis Mills Redevelopment & Two new homes Grafton:- 256 unit 40B approved, 76 hostile 40B approved in Grafton's farmlands, LIP for 84 signed 12/03, 2 other pending 40Bs Uxbridge: Millville:

11/26/03 -  Pawtucket Celebrates Opening of 27 Units of Affordable Housing

Presently, the Valley has mostly waited for 40Bs to come along. The realization of the need, the possible reuse initiatives and the community setting a vision in place are all starting to come together as they have in Millbury with both large and small successful creation and renovation of affordable housing initiatives. 

In Uxbridge, a 40B will shortly be filed for land along Rte 146A past the Quaker Motor Lodge. Details will be forthcoming when filed with the ZBA. 

10% Doesn't Matter Anyway???    Link:Mass Policy Online: Affordable Housing Update

Save Miscoe Fights a Tough Fight to Preserve an ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern)

Sustainable Affordable Housing

Renovated mill housing line many Rhode Island and Massachusetts mill communities. This can substantially enhance the community by maintaining affordability for the core of citizens while keeping the older, but now renovated, mills and the mill homes as part of each community's visual history. Ashton, RI and Northbridge, MA are two prime examples of the re-use of mill housing. New housing projects are also coming forward but these have often eaten up the farmlands in a sprawl effect, so smart planning and a proactive approach is critical to maintain the charm of our communities.  Link: Cumberland's Successful Plan for Affordable Housing 

Hopkinton has recently followed the lead of the Ashland Town Administrator to join a regional housing effort in the communities of  Ashland, Hopkinton, Holliston, Southboro, Sherborn and Medway. Hopkinton has a very diligent effort underway based on a thorough analysis of needs and doable projects. Their analysis, however, showed, that due to their lack of need for rentals, the Town will never reach the 10% minimum required by the State to be able to deny 40Bs. However, their upfront requirements, including a thorough Notice of Intent filed and reviewed prior to any decision, assure a very informed committee will demand a suitable 40B project for the town.

  Executive Order 385  A Thorough Guide to Understanding 40B by Land Planner Kathy Sfera       Sustainable Housing          

40B Letter from Witten and Horsely     CHAPA    MassHousing    MHPFund    DHCD      Calendar

Second Soft Loan Program - available in Grafton   Resources     Income Limits    

 3/16/04: "Turning a Dream into An Opportunity for Hardworking Massachusetts Families" is the tag line of the Massachusetts Housing Opportunities Corporation. "We work with communities to establish a plan by building quality homes which reflect well within the neighborhood." UMAss Amherst Dean and longtime Planner and Speaker for the Blackstone Valley, Dr. John Mullin, sits on the Board of this group. MHOC helps communities plan a planned production progra,. For more information, contact www.mhoc.info or call 1-800-782-7040.

Sales Price calculation formula   For Units Only or LIP Applications  Commercial Growth in the Valley   Link: Innovative Approach to Deed Existing Affordable Homes Link: Affordable Housing MUST BE SUSTAINABLE according to CHAPA   Local: 40B  More 40B

 Woonsocket, RI has 16.53% moderate income housing, according to Mayor Susan Menard. Only Newport, RI has edged Woonsocket out of the lead in the percentage of affordable units.

2/16/04: Lou Boersma of the Grafton Housing Authority has submitted a website for those building affordable units. If the design is incorporated from intial stages, the cost per unit to adapt a home for handicap (or universal) access is only about $300. extra. 

2/9/04: Developer Sotir Papalilo will soon be bringing the  lottery informational package for his project's affordable units to the Uxbridge ZBA for their review.  The lottery information package consists of documents that are similar to those found in LIP application under Section VIII: Marketing Plan updated to reflect the current conditions.  The ZBa will then review the materials and respond to the developer who hopes to advertise and start the lottery process by accepting applications from potential affordable homebuyers.  The lottery is tentatively scheduled for April 8, 2004.  A pre-lottery informational meeting will be held with all qualified participants on April 1, 2004. Further information will  be forthcoming as the ZBA approves the marketing plan. The project is nearly fully constructed. It is unclear how many homes will be affordable although 25% of the project will be reserved for affordability. 

News Brief 1/28/04:  BOSTON, JAN. 26, 2004..News of a state-sponsored $100 million housing construction initiative was tempered Monday by three sobering doses of Bay State reality. Researchers at the UMass Donahue Institute released a report saying Massachusetts was the least affordable state to rent an apartment in during 2003.The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) released figures Monday showing the average home sale price in December was $377,881, up 10 percent from December 2002. 

Established by the Legislature in 1966, MassHousing has sold bonds to investors to provide more than $6 billion in loans used to finance roughly 60,000 apartments and 40,000 homes statewide. The new housing program will focus $75 million on mixed-income housing developments, each with at least 20 percent of the units affordable to low and moderate-income residents. Another $22 million is earmarked for mixed-income housing near public transit sites, and $3 million is to assist communities in affordable housing planning consistent with the states smart growth plan.


MassHousing will subsidize up to $75,000 per unit, with priority given to three-bedroom units, a provision of the plan particularly supported by Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Boston), co-chairman of the Legislatures Housing and Urban
Development Committee. Honan and co-chairman Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) joined the governor at a press conference Monday to applaud the initiative.Despite average sale prices that continue to soar, the realtors association reported Monday that single-family home sales in December rose 19.9 percent over the last year and condominium sales were up 28.4 percent.  Low interest rates continue to attract buyers.  The average price of a condominium rose from $250,242 in December 2002 to $279,085 in December 2003 an 11.5 percent hike.

The market is not suffering, said John Dulczewski, communications director for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR). Interest rates are working in the buyers favor and making homes more affordable than normal. He predicted 2003 was the best year ever for condominium sales. While touting Mondays news of rising sales, Dulczewski was quick to point out Massachusetts needs to create 25,000 to 30,000 new housing units each year to meet the demands of new residents and growing families. He estimated that an average of 17,500 units were built over the last several years.

A UMass study, sponsored by CHAPA and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, said that in 2003 more than 260,000 middle-income homeowners and 330,000 renters spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing. It also pointed to 2000 data showing 28 percent of renters spent more than 50 percent of their income on rent. The full study is available at www.chapa.org.



Go to Mass DHCD website for more information or RI site for housing

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