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MHP selects 3 communities for its new housing trust technical assistance program

Posted on March 18, 2021

BOSTON --- Building on its effort to help communities use local funds for affordable housing, the MHP community assistance team has selected three communities for its new intensive technical assistance program for local housing trusts.

Andover, Revere and Wellfleet were selected from a pool of 14 communities that applied for MHP’s new program. Each community will receive up to six months of direct technical assistance from MHP’s community assistance staff.

“In our work with communities on trusts, we sometimes found that more focused support could help move a community along in building its trust capacity,” said MHP Senior Program Manager Shelly Goehring. “The intensive program was created to test a more formal model of supporting communities and it could lead to a couple of rounds of support each year, in addition to our usual large trainings and workshops.”

Goehring said six of the applicants were from communities looking to start a housing trust and eight were from existing trusts looking for technical support. After a thorough review, MHP selected two communities that have trusts (Andover, Wellfleet) and one community trying to start one (Revere). In addition, MHP will run a two-part training for the five other applicant communities hoping to create a housing trust

In Andover, MHP Senior Planner Katy Lacy will assist the trust and town planning staff review the town’s zoning and explore ways to support measures that would promote more diverse housing options and affordability, zoning modifications will be suggested and language drafted.

In Revere, MHP will support the creation of an affordable housing trust, which was identified as a priority in Mayor Brian Arrigo’s 2021 state of the city address. Revere is experiencing sharp growth, with over 4,000 units built or in the permitting pipeline in 2016, and the city is looking for ways to build more affordable housing, support low-income households and fight widespread gentrification. 

Wellfleet established its trust and appointed trustees in 2020, and is in the process of identifying goals, funding and how it will work with the local housing authority and affordable housing partnership.  MHP will support the trust’s efforts to establish goals, and will also work with all three groups to define roles and establish a protocol for working together to advance affordable housing initiatives.

 MHP’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund Technical Assistance Program builds upon MHP’s long history of helping communities start and operate effective trusts. This effort began in 2005 when the state legislature passed the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Law, simplifying the process of establishing a local housing trust fund. Since then, MHP has published trust guidebooks and reached dozens of communities each year through direct technical assistance, large trainings and targeted local workshops. Today, over 100 communities have adopted municipal trusts.

For more information about MHP’s trust technical assistance, contact Shelly Goehring at sgoehring@mhp.net.