Friday, June 16, 2006
New tool helps preserve affordable housing
One problem that has plagued towns trying to create affordable housing has been how to keep it affordable as years go by and the unit is resold. Carlisle resident Phyllis Zinicola has helped design a solution. As Manager of Comprehensive Permit Programs for the state affordable housing agency, MassHousing, Zinicola worked with national mortgage lender Fannie Mae to make it much easier to place long-term deed restrictions on affordable housing.
Resale limits are set on prices of affordable housing to insure the units stay within the reach of moderate-income families.To remain in effect in perpetuity the restrictions are written as a deed-rider. However, this proved to be difficult when Fannie Mae insisted that deed restrictions terminate in cases of mortgage forclosure.
Fannie Mae will now accept permanent deed-riders, including a template deed-rider developed and recommended by MassHousing. Zinicola worked on the new deed-rider and suggests Carlisle consider it for affordable housing such as the Laurel Hollow units to be offered by lottery at Town Hall at 7 p.m. on June 29. MCO Housing Services is administering the lottery. However, as of press time, their web site (www.mcohousingservices.com) still listed an older format deed-rider. When asked if the new deed-rider might be used for Laurel Hollow, Maureen O'Hagan, Lottery Specialist at MCO Housing, said, "Probably, but it hasn't been finalized yet." She said she was in the process of contacting MassHousing for details and then would discuss it with town officials and the developer.
Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie was enthusiastic about Fannie Mae's new policy, "This is something that will help communities in the long run. This will help, big time."
© 2006 The