The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 26, 1999


Housing authority suggests units on Conant Land

"Marty Galligan, chair of the Carlisle Housing Authority, is here to speak to us about affordable housing," announced planning board chair Tara Hengeveld on February 8. The presentation included state affordable housing options and a suggestion that the Conant Land be considered a site in the future.

Planning board member Michael Epstein, alluding to comprehensive permits, explained, "We've tightened the rules, now there's a proverbial stick over our head if we deny approval." A recent planning board applicant threatened to build 138 units of affordable housing via comprehensive permit if the application were denied.

Galligan displayed a flow chart created by Jean LaBroad of East Riding Drive that explains in exquisite detail the process of obtaining a comprehensive permit under the LIP (Local Initiative Program). "There are LIPs, there are HOPs [Home Ownership Program], the MHFA [Massachusetts Housing and Finance Agency, and the New England fundfour ways to do it," explained Galligan. He went on to describe all the nuances of the complex process. LIPs are done in partnership with the town, whereas HOPs go directly to the state and bypass the selectmen. The state prefers LIPs because they would rather that the developer work with the town. "HOPs were more popular in the '80s when the state government was more liberal," said Galligan.

"Which one is Costello planning for East Riding Drive?" asked a board member. "We don't know," replied Galligan. "He hasn't applied yet. He was supposed to submit a proposal before the end of last year, but we haven't seen it." Galligan affirmed his belief that diversification is beneficial to a town like Carlisle. He plans to submit a Warrant article for money to support an 8- to12-unit development on the Conant Land. "The town is served by people of all income levels," Galligan concluded.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito