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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.

Somerville: Mulls streamlined wait list for housing SOMERVILLE --- Single mom Martine Dreux's ongoing search for affordable housing illustrates how hard it is to find affordable housing in Somerville and why the city officials have proposed creating a centralized waiting list that they could refer to whenever an affordable unit of any type becomes available.
Publication: Somerville Journal, Jul 21, 2015
State: Mass. Municipal Assoc., advocates debate 40B merits BOSTON --- While affordable housing advocates maintain that state statute Ch. 40B is an important tool in developing multifamily housing in places where zoning doesn't allow it, Mass. Municipal Association Executive Director Geoff Beckwith says the law renders communities powerless because "developers hold all the cards" and "they are never overruled by the state and essentially call all the shots."
Publication: Gatehouse Media New England/Walpole Times, Jul 21, 2015
Chelsea: Neighbors oppose plan for 60 apartments CHELSEA --- Having successfully transformed a former industrial site into a new neighborhood called the Box District, The Neighborhood Developers of Chelsea have run into stiff opposition over its plan to turn a former social club it has purchased into 60 units of affordable apartments. Reportedly, hundreds of residents in the neighborhood known as Mill Hill have signed a petition saying there is too much affordable housing in Chelsea already while others say more homeownership developments are needed.
Publication: Chelsea Record, Jul 18, 2015
Boston: Tax breaks sought for 'workforce' housing plan BOSTON --- The development near Boston Garden that garnered a lot of attention for its inclusion of work force and affordable housing has asked the Boston Redevelopment Authority for tax breaks n its plan to develop 239 apartments, a 220-room hotel, 10,000 square feet of retail space and a parking garage.
Publication: Boston Herald, Jul 17, 2015
Boston: Tiny condos average $358K in prime neighborhoods BOSTON --- A research firm that tracks sales in a dozen central Boston neighborhoods like the North End, Seaport, Back Bay and Fenway reports that condo units of 450 square feet or less sold for an average of $358,000 in the second quarter, up 14 percent from last year.
Publication: Boston Globe, Jul 16, 2015
Marlborough: Weighs $450K offer in lieu of affordable units MARLBOROUGH --- The City Council has referred to the Urban Affairs Committee a request by developers to pay the city $450,000 instead of marketing nine townhouse units as affordable, which is required under the city's inclusionary zoning law that 15 percent of the units be affordable for developments of more than 20 units.
Publication: MetroWest Daily News, Jul 16, 2015
Newton: Agrees to create housing for homeless NEWTON --- Residents and advocates who supported a failed attempt to turn a former firehouse into housing have - in conjunction with the Disability Law Center and the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston - reached an agreement with Newton Mayor Setti Warren on a plan to create permanent supportive housing for the homeless. The agreement, approved by HUD, resolves allegations that the city violated discrimination laws when it failed to support the development of housing for formerly homeless persons at a former firehouse in the city's Waban section. The agreement requires the city to create 9 to 12 units of supportive housing in the next five years.
Publication: Newton Tab, Jul 15, 2015
Barnstable: Tenant motel exodus illustrates Cape housing plight CENTERVILLE --- Long-term tenants who have been living at the Craigville Motel have begun to move out after the Barnstable Board of Health chose not renew its license due to code violations and because its license limits stays to 30 days or less.
Publication: Cape Cod Times, Jul 14, 2015
Boston: Gets HUD OK to change elderly-disabled formula BOSTON --- The Boston Housing Authority has won federal approval to change the way it distributes housing units to senior citizens and disabled adults in the 36 elder-disabled apartment buildings owned by the city of Boston. The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved the BHA's request to change the ratio of elderly to non-elderly disabled in its buildings to 80 percent elderly, 20 percent non-elderly disabled. It had previously been 70-30.
Publication: Dorchester Reporter, Jul 14, 2015
Stoneham: Has not met Ch. 40B threshold, state rules BOSTON --- The state's Housing Appeals Committee has determined that Stoneham has not met the state's minimum threshold of having at least 1.5 percent of its developable land devoted to affordable housing. The decision paves the way for developer John M. Corcoran & Company to move forward with its 264-unit proposal for Weiss Farm.
Publication: Boston Globe, Jul 14, 2015
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