Housing News Roundup
To keep in touch with what's going on at the local level, MHP regularly summarizes and links to housing stories that have appeared in newspapers around the state.
Amherst: May buy apartment building to preserve affordability AMHERST --- Selectmen have voted 3-1 in favor of a town meeting warrant that would ask voters to appropriate funds to buy and preserve the affordability of Echo Village Apartments, which stands to lose 24 affordable units if the new owners go through with their plans to raise rents to market levels.
Publication: Amherst Bulletin, May 23, 2013
Milton: TM OKs zoning change for 92 assisted living units MILTON --- Earlier in May, town meeting approveed a zoning change that would allow the construction of a 92-unit assisted-living facility on Randolph Avenue. Elm Development Services LLC of Longmeadow is seeking to build a 92-unit facility on the site of the former Horseplay Stables. Of the units, 30 would be for people with health issues related to memory loss and five percent of the units would be affordable.
Publication: Patriot Ledger, May 23, 2013
Beverly: Developments to provide affordable housing for vets BEVERLY --- Two new housing developments, both within a few blocks of the Beverly commuter rail station, will add a total of 46 new units of affordable housing to the downtown neighborhood. North Shore Veterans Counseling Services will redevelop a former rooming house at 45 Broadway into 14 single rooms. The building will also contain an outreach center, offering drug and alcohol awareness counseling and post-traumatic stress disorder counseling to veterans in the region. Additionally, Windover Construction will transform a former box factory at 60 Pleasant Street into 32 studio apartments.
Publication: The Boston Globe, May 20, 2013
Peabody: Adopts plan that would encourage friendly 40Bs PEABODY --- The city council has approved a housing plan that is aimed at fending off unwanted multi-family affordable housing developments. The plan, which must be approved by the legislature, identifies areas where so-called "friendly 40Bs" might go.
Publication: Salem News, May 17, 2013
MetroWest: On 40B, towns differ on approach, outcome FRAMINGHAM --- When it comes to dealing with housing developers seeking Ch. 40B comprehensive permits, towns in MetroWest are taking a variety of approaches. For example, while Natick received nearly $2 million in mitigation from AvalonBay Communities to deal with the financial impacts of its Avalon Natick development, Westborough recently approved a new complex that officials say will cost the towns millions each year without any benefit from the developer.
Publication: MetroWest Daily News, May 12, 2013
Cleveland: Suspect block plagued by distress, abandonment CLEVELAND --- Once filled with middle-class families, the neighborhood where Ariel Castro allegeldy kept three women captive is plagued by abandonment and foreclosures. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the block is littered with seven vacant lots and most of the nearly 20 structures on the block look neglected or abandoned. Previous stories have indicated that Castro's home at 2207 Seymour Ave. was in foreclosure due to non-payment of taxes.
Publication: Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 10, 2013
Harwich: OKs $455K in CPA funds for affordable housing HARWICH --- Town meeting voters approved spending $455,000 of Community Preservation Act money to help create 20 units of affordable rental housing in five buildings in a $4.5 million project on Route 28 in West Harwich. The land is owned by the Harwich Ecumenical Council for the Homeless.
Publication: Cape Cod Times, May 10, 2013
Lowell: Breaks up 3 homeless camps along Merrimack River LOWELL, May 10, 2013 --- Three separate authorities began clearing homeless camps from the banks of the Merrimack River early this month, leaving at least some residents with nowhere to go. Some had already left, and others said they expected to be able to stay one more night.
Publication: Lowell Sun, May 10, 2013
Milton: Developer may switch after Sunday meeting at town hall MILTON --- A Sunday morning meeting between public officials and a developer at town hall may result in the developer scrapping his 40B application to build 72 rental units at the Hendries site and instead seek a special permit to build 38 condominiums and some commercial space. The meeting was reportedly organized by Sen. Brian Joyce and inclued Planning Board Chairman Alex Whiteside, Boad of Selectmen Chairman Tom Hurley, Town Planner William Clark, and Jeremiah and Steve Connelly who are trustee and developer of Carrick Realty Trust.
Publication: Milton Times, May 2, 2013
Worcester: Banks pass city foreclosure fees onto borrowers WORCESTER - A city ordinance intended to force far-flung banks to see to the upkeep of foreclosed properties has had the unintended consequence of adding to the financial burden of struggling mortgage borrowers, much to the dismay of city leaders. The ordinance requires a bank or other company that files a foreclosure petition to notify the city and deposit $5,000 for each petition in a special account controlled by the city treasurer. But according to a story reported by Tom Caywood in the Sunday Telegram, banks and other financial institutions increasingly are lumping the $5,000 cost into what the borrower owes, making it less likely that struggling homeowners can catch up on their payments and end the foreclosure process before losing their homes.
Publication: Worcester Telegram, May 2, 2013