Affordable Housing Trust Study Committee

Purpose

The purpose of Affordable Housing Trust Study Committee is to advise the Select Board on the development of a draft bylaw for consideration by Town Meeting that would implement the vote taken under Article 24 of the 2019 Annual Town Meeting.


Background

The Town’s Affordable Housing Funding Committee issued a draft report in the fall of 2018 and issued its Final Report to the Select Board in the spring of 2019. The report recommended a variety of possible approaches to develop sustainable sources of funds for the development of affordable housing. The Funding Committee’s goal was to identify possible ways in which Concord might raise $1 million dollars or more each year to support affordable housing construction. Concord’s 2019 Annual Town Meeting voted favorably for Article 25 (Real Estate Transfer Tax) and Article 26 (Building Permit Surcharge) which have the potential to raise significant amounts of money for housing. The Town will need a mechanism for managing the funds raised to support affordable housing. So it was proposed, and the Town voted, under Article 24, to accept the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 44, section 55C, which allows the Town to create an Affordable Housing Trust. Chapter 44, Section 55C allows an affordable housing trust to undertake a wide variety of activities, including purchase land for affordable housing and actually constructing the housing. Concord, through special legislation, has already created the Concord Housing Development Corporation, which is intended to purchase land, undertake construction, and take other steps to actually create affordable housing in Concord. So the primary mission of the Concord Affordable Housing Trust, will be to manage the funds appropriated or raised for affordable housing.

Membership

The AHTF Study Committee shall be comprised of five members appointed by the Select Board. The term of office shall be for six months, unless the term is extended by vote of the Select Board. The membership shall be as follows:

  • One representative from the Concord Housing Development Corporation, Concord Housing Authority, or other organization having a mission to create affordable housing in Concord;
  • One representative from the former Affordable Housing Funding Advisory Committee;
  • One representative with a background or experience in municipal finance;
  • Two citizens at-large providing a diversity of interests, backgrounds and expertise;

Duties and Responsibilities

  • To become familiar with the issues and concerns surrounding the funding of affordable housing;
  • To examine how other communities in Massachusetts have structured a local Affordable Housing Trust, particularly focusing on the management of funds for affordable housing;
  • To review and consider the existing authority and management of available funds for affordable housing projects at the Community Preservation Committee, Concord Housing Development Corporation, Concord Housing Authority, Concord Housing Foundation, and Planning Division in the creation of this draft bylaw;
  • To solicit public input on the subject of managing public funds intended to be used to develop affordable housing, using a variety of communication methods, including holding at least one public hearing early in the fact-finding process;
  • To begin the process of drafting a bylaw to implement the vote taken under Article 24 and to have a draft prepared by November 1, 2019;
  • To submit a brief final report to the Select Board prior to the expiration of the term of appointment;
  • To perform such other duties as the Select Board may request, including such tasks as the committee may propose to the Board as modifications to this committee charge.

Other Considerations

The Study Committee is responsible for conducting its activities in a manner which is in compliance with all relevant State and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law and Conflict of Interest Law. The Committee shall consult with the Town Manager concerning the allocation of town staff or financial resources toward this effort.