What is an Affordable Housing Plan?
"An affordable housing plan is a plan that identifies the housing needs of the community and the strategies by which the municipality will make progress in facilitating the development of affordable housing... In many cases, it is not necessary for a community to create an entirely new plan to meet the requirements. Many communities have already adopted a plan or a series of plans that contain some or all of the required elements. Executive Order 418 Community Development Plans and Housing Strategies, in particular, may contain most if not all of the necessary information."
Source: Dept of Housing and Community Development, Guidelines for the Planned Production Regulation
under MGL Chapter 40B,760 CMR 31.07(1)(i)
How does having a Plan help the Town?
An Affordable Housing Plan (AHP), approved by the State and Local Government, provides the following benefits to the Town:
Provides information, guidance and direction, in relation to the development of Affordable Housing in Norfolk. Such information is useful for residents, Town Boards and officials, and developers.
Helps to demonstrate that the our Town is being proactive, in the process of ensuring that Norfolk is able to offer affordable housing to current and prospective residents.
In conjunction with the actual production of a planned amount of affordable housing units, having an approved Affordable Housing Plan can help protect the Town against 'agressive' 40B projects.
What is an 'aggressive' 40B?
An aggressive 40B is, in general terms, a 40B proposal that the Town considers is not in keeping with the needs, goals and objectives of the Town. Often 'aggressive' 40Bs have what the town considers to be an excessive number of units, an inappropriate location or consist of housing of a significantly inappropriate type or style.
How does having a Plan help protect the Town from an 'aggressive' 40B?
If the local zoning board rejects an affordable housing project, or imposes conditions that that the developer considers uneconomic, Chapter 40B allows developers the right to appeal to the State Housing Appeals Committee (HAC). However, if the Town has increased its percentage of affordable housing stock by 2% over the previous 12 months, developers will be denied their right of appeal. Further, if the Town has an approved Affordable Housing Plan on record with the State, an annual increase of 0.75% is sufficient for HAC to deem the ZBA’s decision ‘consistent with local needs’ and deny the application. Note that for Norfolk, such protection would be available if we increase our stock of affordable housing by 21 units (0.75% of our total housing) annually.
Introduction to Norfolk's Affordable Housing Plan
Norfolk has developed an Affordable Housing Plan (Oct 2006), based upon the Housing section of the our Community Development Program (June 2004). With updated statistics, and incorporating new sections focusing on affordable housing, the Affordable Housing Plan defines goals and provides supporting strategies, to achieve and maintain 10% affordable housing in Norfolk, in a way that is in keeping with the needs, strategies and objectives of the Town. The current document has been approved by the State. The document will be revised as necessary in keeping with feedback from the Town, State and residents.
Who is responsible for revising and updating the Affordable Housing Plan?
Norfolk has created an Affordable Housing Committee, which will be responsible for revising and updating the Affordable Housing Plan, including a major update subsequent to the next US Census in 2010.
Contents of the Plan
The current plan (Oct 2006) is arranged in sections as follows:
1. Introduction to Norfolk
2. Introduction to Affordable Housing
3. Development Constraints:
3.1 General constraints to development
3.2 Constraints to Affordable Housing Development
4. Statistics and Projections:
4.1 Land Use
4.3 Types of Housing (structural, design, occupancy, vacancy,
family types, # of rooms, household size, building permits,
buildout, age of housing)
4.5 Lottery Participation
4.6 Down Payment Assistance Program
5. Total Housing: Gaps and Projected Needs
6. Affordable Housing:
6.3 Projected Needs – Planned Production
7. Affordable Housing Goals and Objectives:
7.2 Goals and Objectives from Community Development Plan
7.3 Locations/Quantities of Housing
7.4 Progress since the Community Development Plan
8. Strategies and Next Steps
8.2 Next Steps
9. Description of Use Restrictions and Other Considerations
9.1 Restrictions for Affordable Units
9.2 Other Considerations
Where can I view a copy of the Affordable Housing Plan?
The current version of the Affordable Housing Plan is available to download as a PDF file, using the link at the top of this page, or download here (600kb).