Selectmen Seek Public Input On Possible Use Of Town-Owned Land For Affordable Housing At November 13 Forum

WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen is seeking input from the community regarding whether it is worthwhile to make Town owned land available to support affordable housing.   Residents are invited to attend the Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the High School Auditorium, 159 Church Street, and share your views on whether the use of Town owned land should be used as a means to create affordable housing.

The Town is currently at the 10% threshold of affordable housing stock set forth by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40B.   With the construction over the last several years of market rate housing, the lack of construction of affordable housing and the loss of some affordable housing units, the Town’s inventory of affordable housing will fall below 10% when the federal census is conducted in 2020.  Communities with less than 10% of their housing stock deemed affordable, by state standards, risk the possibility of developers seeking Comprehensive Permits in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 40B to construct housing.  These so-called 40B developments can occur anywhere in the community as they are not subject to local zoning or other local regulations.  Such developments are typically denser than would otherwise be permitted in the zoning district.

Possibilities for increasing affordable housing stock include selling Town owned land for the purpose of developing affordable units, requiring that developers of new housing developments construct a certain percentage of affordable units, or adopting the Community Preservation Act to generate funding for development of affordable housing, protection of open space and preservation of historic property.

The Board of Selectmen is seeking feedback from residents specifically on the question of whether Town owned land should be conveyed via a competitive proposal process to a developer who agrees to construct a certain percentage of the affordable housing units within the overall development.

For more information on affordable housing, contact the Planning Department at 978-658-8238.  For more information on the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, contact the Town Manager’s Office at 978-658-3311.

(NOTE: The above press release is from the Town of Wilmington.)

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