The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shorts from the Affordable Housing Trust, January 15

Affordable Accessory Apartments. The Affordable Accessory Apartment (AAA) bylaw was approved by the state, reported Carlisle Administrative Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett at the Affordable Housing Trust meeting on January 15. Town Counsel and the Planning Board will review it, and then “It’s ready to go.” Housing Authority member Steve Pearlman noted this approval was an achievement. Selectman Doug Stevenson added, “Elizabeth certainly deserves a great deal of recognition for her persistence.”

Pearlman also observed that Carlisle is a pioneer. “Nobody else in the entire state has this,” he said. “We’re the flagship,” agreed Housing Authority member Susan Stamps.

According to Barnett, extensive outreach and a lottery is required if apartments become available. Accessibility is not a requirement, but a landlord cannot prevent a tenant who wants to provide accessibility at his own expense. It was noted that the Housing Trust controls $90,000 to aid homeowners who wish to convert homes to provide AAA units. Each can apply for up to $15,000. So far, two homeowners have expressed interest.

Village Court expansion. A report from engineers Stamski and McNary on the feasibility of tying Village Court into the school wastewater treatment plant is due the end of January.

Affordable Housing Plan. The Carlisle Affordable Housing Plan required by the state expires October 2010. A new committee will be needed. Housing Trust member and Planning Board representative Greg Peterson noted that the Department of Housing and Community Development now requires more detail, including engineering information. He suggested a consultant be hired, but Selectman Tim Hult responded that he does not want to ask the taxpayers for funds for studies. “We’ll be cutting services and personnel. There’s no way out of it.” The trust has $50,000 under its control for consultants and studies, and would therefore not need a Town Meeting vote.

Regional Housing Plan. An initiative by Dan Hill to promote a regional approach to affordable housing was distributed. Hill was formerly a consultant to the Zoning Board of Appeals during the Coventry Woods 40B development review process. It is too late for this proposal to be presented to the state legislature this year.

New Housing Authority member needed. A new member for the Housing Authority is being sought. This would be the governor’s appointee. Most valued would be someone with architectural, land use or development experience.

• The next Trust meeting is in April. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito