Affordable Housing Consortium Hosting Public Hearing on Action Plan

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 aberman@newtonma.gov. 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

Council Approves Creation of Watertown Affordable Housing Trust

Charlie BreitroseWatertown City Hall

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.

Town Council Moves Toward Creating Trust to Buy, Build More Affordable Housing in Watertown

Watertown Town Hall

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.

Watertown Community Preservation Plan Released, Committee Wants Public’s Reactions

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.