Friday, February 3, 2006
CHA to request Affordable Housing Trust Fund
On Wednesday night, January 25, the Carlisle Housing Authority (CHA) decided to request the Selectmen to include an article on the Warrant for Annual Town Meeting providing for the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This is in accordance with Chapter 44, Section 55C of the Massachusetts General Laws, which provides for municipal affordable housing trusts "to provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in municipalities for the benefit of low and moderate income households."
Should the trust fund article pass Town Meeting, the Selectmen would be charged with appointing a "board of trustees...which shall include no less than five trustees...[to] serve for a term not to exceed two years." The trustees would "accept and receive property, whether real or personal, by gift, grant, devise or transfer from any person, firm, corporation or any other public or private entity, including without limitation grants of funds or other property tendered to the trust in connection with provisions of any zoning ordinance or bylaw or any other ordinance or bylaw." The trustees would then conduct the business of the trust, including investing and/or using the monies in the trust to accomplish its purposes, without the necessity of Town Meeting approval for each expenditure. These expenditures might include commissioning engineering studies, hiring consultants, providing financial incentives, or funding other projects related to the development or building of affordable housing units. The Housing Authority will apply to the Community Preservation Act Committee to request that the funds in its keeping that are already earmarked for housing be dispersed into such a trust fund to seed it. State aid is more likely to be granted to an entity that specifically defines and restricts the way money will be spent, so such a trust fund will have a better chance of receiving state aid specifically and only for affordable housing.
The motion to ask the Selectmen to place an article creating an Affordable Housing Trust on the Warrant for Town Meeting passed unanimously.
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