VIDEO: Learn About The Town’s New Effort To Increase Affordable Housing In Wilmington: Inclusionary Zoning

WILMINGTON, MA — On the latest episode of Wilmington Community Television’s “Town Topics,” host and WCTV Executive Director Shaun Neville sat down with Wilmington’s Planning Director Valerie Gingrich to discuss inclusionary zoning.

“Inclusionary zoning is a requirement that affordable housing units be constructed when housing units are built in general,” explained Gingrich. “It’s a requirement that affordable units be part of a development.”

Wilmington does not currently have an inclusionary zoning bylaw. All but one of its neighboring towns, however, do already have such a bylaw in place.

“Most towns across the state have it,” said Gingrich. “It’s not a new idea. It’s been talked about here in the past.”

Gingrich and Neville got into the details of the draft of a inclusionary zoning bylaw that voters will likely be asked to approve at May’s Annual Town Meeting.

“As the draft currently stands, the requirement would be any multi-family (condos, apartments, duplexes) developments that are 8 units or more, would be required to provide 15% of their units as affordable,” said Gingrich. 

If 20 units were proposed, under the bylaw, 3 would need to be designated as affordable.

Builders could take advantage of a “density bonus” — an additional market-rate (regular) unit would be allowed (added) for every affordable unit built. The bonus helps offset the loss that the developer endures by selling a unit at less than market value.

So, if 20 units were proposed, and 3 were affordable, the developer could add 3 additional market value units, for a total of 23 units.

Additional details are included in the draft, which is posted HERE on the Department of Planning & Conservation page of the town’s website.

Gingrich encourages comments, questions, or suggestions. She can be reached at vgingrich@wilmingtonma.gov or 978-658-8238.

Watch the 15-minute interview, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:

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