Friday, February 1, 2008
Affordable apt. program moves closer to reality
According to Selectman Doug Stevenson, new guidelines issued by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) have eliminated long-term property restrictions that had been at odds with Carlisle's Affordable Accessory Apartment (AAA) bylaw, voted by Town Meeting in 2006. Previously, the DHCD wanted minimum commitments of 15 years for existing apartments and 30 years for new units that receive a AAA subsidy. Under the state's December guidelines for AAA Local Initiative Programs, deed restrictions may be terminated when a property is sold, and landowners may voluntarily withdraw from the program whenever a tenant's lease ends.
Now that the Carlisle AAA program has been approved by DHCD "in concept," Administrative Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett explained that the town's next step is to develop permitting procedures, brochures and details of the program funding. The state will judge each apartment on a case by case basis. Housing units approved by the state under these guidelines will count toward a town's 10% affordable housing goal.
Carlisle's Affordable Housing Trust is the keeper of $90,000 in funds approved by Town Meeting for reimbursing some development costs for homeowners who participate in the AAA program. Barnett said the trust will review progress on the paperwork at their meeting on March 25.
© 2008 The