3 thoughts on “Watertown Given Protection from 40B Projects by Using Little Used Method

  1. This type of housing dramatically affects the look and feel of our historic neighborhoods. Watertown should first and foremost protect the long established neighborhoods in this town.

  2. Mr.Magnoon, by now, Watertown should have met this criteria for affordable housing. You told us, residents, before Repton place was built, that we would meet our affordable housing ??? Watertown has,Repton place, Mews,Arsenal st.lots of housing on pleasant st. So what’s this baloney, only 7percent, we should be way over 7 percent ????? I want some.answers ?????

  3. Watertown should also immediately do the “Local Preference” calculation for the 15% inclusionary zoning units (10% at .80 of area median income (AMI) and 5% at .65 of AMI) at the apartment developments coming on line. This calculation determines the number of units that can be set aside for the first lottery round of these affordable apartment units. Example: Arsenal Yards is set to have a total of 300 apartments; 15% or 45 units (30 units at .80 AMI; 15 units at .65 AMI) will be set aside as inclusionary zoning units. The local preference set aside can be no higher than 70% of the available units (or in this case 45 x .70= 31.5 = 32 units if Watertown qualifies for a 70% set aside) and this set aside only applies to the first rental round. Note: there are also calculations for any condo units being built.

    The current allowable local preference categories under the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) guidelines include:
    – Current residents: A household in which one or more members is living in the city or town at the time of application
    – Municipal Employees: Employees of the municipality, such as teachers, janitors, firefighters, police officers, librarians, or town hall employees.
    – Employees of Local Businesses: Employees of businesses located in the municipality.
    – Households with children attending the local schools, such as METCO students.

    If a community wishes to implement a local selection preference for the allowable categories it must:
    – Demonstrate in the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan prepared for a specific project the need for the local preference (e.g., the community may have a disproportionately low rental or ownership affordable housing stock relative to need in comparison to the regional area); and
    – Demonstrate that the proposed local preference will not have a disparate impact on protected classes.

    As often seen in ads for local communities in the Boston Globe – units are advertised by size, number of bedrooms, number of occupants allowed, location, and income parameters, application, and lottery details.

    So why hasn’t Watertown done the “Local Preference” calculation given community housing supply and demand needs? I have asked this question of multiple people in town and I am still waiting for an answer.

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