The following information came from the the City of Watertown:
The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is accepting project applications for the FY 2023 funding round and will host application workshops on Aug. 3 and Aug. 9, 2022. Visit the CPC webpage for more information including: key dates, links to application instructions and application documents, or read How to Apply. Apply for CPA Funding – FY 2023
Application Workshops (morning and evening options): Aug.
Watertown officials will request special legislation to be approved that would allow the City to charge a fee to new commercial developments with the money going to a fund to create affordable housing. The City seeks what is known as a linkage fee, which is based on the impact of commercial development on the demand for affordable housing, acting Deputy City Manager Steve Magoon told the City Council on Tuesday. The special legislation will have to be approved by the State Legislature. “Non-residential projects are creating demand for affordable housing for people who work in Watertown,” Magoon said. “We have done a study to look at that impact and adjusted it by the nexus between that demand being created by projects and the cost that it represents to us as a municipality, and a fee that would be charged.”
The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:
The WestMetro HOME Consortium, consisting of Watertown and 12 other communities, is holding a public hearing on its action plan for the fiscal year July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) uses federal funding to assist low-& moderate-income residents, particularly through the creation and preservation of affordable housing. The WestMetro Consortium is led by the City of Newton and the public hearing will be remote and hosted by Newton’s Planning and Development Board. Comments on the proposed plan will be accepted at the public hearing and in writing to Amanda Berman, via email at email@example.com. The deadline for submitting comments is June 1, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
More info on the draft plan and on participation: https://www.newtonma.gov/government/planning/housing-community-development
The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:
City Manager Michael J. Driscoll is seeking six (6) Watertown citizens interested in serving on the Watertown Affordable Housing Trust. The Housing Plan adopted by the City of Watertown on March 23, 2021 documented the need to create and preserve more affordable housing within the City. The Watertown Housing Partnership recommended the formation of a municipal affordable housing trust under M.G.L. c. 44, §55C to establish a trust to facilitate the creation and preservation of affordable housing within the City of Watertown for the benefit of low-to-moderate-income households and for the funding of community housing. The Honorable City Council adopted Ordinance 2021-89, An Ordinance to Accept the Provisions of M.G.L. C. 44, §55c to Establish a Trust to Facilitate the Creation and Preservation of Affordable Housing Within the City of Watertown at their November 23, 2021 meeting. Composition: The Trust shall be governed by a Board of Trustees (the “Board”) in accordance with M.G.L. c. 44, § 55C, as revised from time to time, and the authority granted by the City Council.
The City of Watertown will have a trust dedicated to the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households with the Council’s approval of the ordinance creating the trust. Along with approving the ordinance, the Council’s vote on Nov. 23 also dissolved the Watertown Housing Partnership, which led Watertown’s efforts to create affordable housing for many years. The Housing Trust will have powers and abilities beyond what has been possible through the City’s efforts to create affordable housing or the Housing Partnership’s efforts, said Watertown Senior Planner Larry Field. “The Housing Partnership has been a great asset to the city for many years,” Field said.
Watertown took a major step this week toward creating more affordable housing by starting the effort to create an affordable housing trust and looking into charging fees to new developments that would go toward affordable housing. Tuesday night, the Town Council voted unanimously to move forward with writing an ordinance that would create the Watertown Affordable Housing Trust, and would dissolve the Watertown Housing Partnership. The Council also approved a study of creating linkage fees for new commercial developments for affordable housing. The Trust would work to create and preserve housing for low- and moderate-income households. Among its powers the Trust would be able to receive properties as donations or gifts, and to buy and sell property.
The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) seeks applications for potential projects to be funded by Watertown’s Community Preservations Act funds, and informational meetings have been scheduled for potential applicants.
The money raised from a 2 percent surcharge on Watertown property tax bills can be spent on projects in four areas: open space, outdoor recreation, community housing, and historical preservation. As of June, the CPA Fund had nearly $9 million.
The CPC takes applications and recommends which projects should receive funding, but it does not initiate, implement or manage projects. Community Preservation funds can be used for the following types of projects:
buy, create, preserve open space and rehabilitate and/or restore open space that is acquired or created using CPA funds;acquire, preserve, rehabilitate, or restore historic resources;acquire, create, preserve, and support community housing; andacquire, create, preserve, and rehabilitate and/or restore passive and active outdoor recreation facilities. Projects can be done on public or private property, said Watertown Community Preservation Coordinator Lanae Handy, but the applicants must have permission.
“If they are a local group interested in doing a project on town property they need to get the consent and support of the Town,” Handy said. “They can’t just apply for funds if they don’t have the approval of the Town.”
Similarly, applicants may have to get permits and approvals for other types of projects before getting funding.
Town Departments can also apply for projects using CPA funds, Handy said, but they cannot be projects that already have approved funding.
A shot of the cover of the Community Preservation Committee’s Draft Five Year Plan, released in late April. Watertown has several million dollars to spend on projects to acquire land for open space and outdoor recreation, create affordable housing and preserve the Town’s historic structures and resources. The Committee that will make recommendations on how to spend the money recently released a draft of the plan that will guide which projects will get funded. Last week, the Community Preservation Committee made the draft of a five-year plan available for the public to read (see it here). The Committee wants to know what Watertown residents think about the plan, and will host a meeting on May 20 at 7 p.m. to gather input.