The Town of Halifax is in the process of updating its Housing Production Plan (HPP) with technical assistance provided by the Old Colony Planning Council, the Regional Planning Agency for this area.
Residents can help participate by completing the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BD7Z3QZ
A Housing Production Plan is a proactive strategy for planning and developing affordable housing.
The State’s regional planning statute, Chapter 40B, is a law that seeks to ensure that all 351 of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns provide for the creation of new homes for individuals, families and older adults, across a range of incomes.
The goal of the statute is for every city and town to have 10% of their year round housing units qualify as affordable to households making up to 80% of the area median income. The statute helps communities meet the Commonwealth’s housing needs, by providing a flexible zoning approval process (comprehensive permit) for developments that include 25% affordable units. At the same time, Chapter 40B provides opportunities for municipalities to control their own housing growth.
The law enables agencies like MassHousing to deny 40B project eligibility to projects that are inconsistent with local planning priorities in localities that have demonstrated commitment to planning and delivering housing growth. That is why it is important to have an up to date Housing Production Plan and have it approved by The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
HPP’s give communities that are under the 10% threshold of Chapter 40B, but are making steady progress in producing affordable housing on an annual basis, more control over comprehensive permit applications for a specified period of time. Communities that demonstrate planning and production for affordable housing may also be eligible to receive priority scoring for Commonwealth Grant Programs as well as access to capital grant programs and technical assistance.
Community input is a key part of the planning process and this survey will help provide a better understanding of the needs of Halifax residents. It is important to understand who currently lives in the community, demographic trends affecting future growth, existing housing stock, and future housing needs.
By engaging the community in discussions about the need for affordable housing and taking a proactive approach in updating its Housing Production Plan, Halifax is more likely to achieve its long range housing and community planning goals, allowing for more diverse housing opportunities for residents of all income levels.