Brookline gets reprieve from new affordable housing proposals

The Boston Globe | By John Hilliard
April 6, 2017

The state has granted Brookline a one-year reprieve from new developments proposed under Massachusetts’ affordable housing law.

The decision from the state Department of Housing and Community Development comes after town officials said late last year that local staff and volunteers were struggling to keep up with 10 simultaneous proposals for Chapter 40B projects.

“We certainly appreciate the opportunity to get some relief,” said Alison C. Steinfeld, the town’s planning director.

Brookline was given the power to decline new Chapter 40B proposals over the next year after state officials determined the town is making sufficient progress toward approving more units for low- and moderate-income residents.

In a March 31 letter, the state housing agency certified that the town complied with a short-term plan to approve at least 131 affordable housing units.
“I applaud your efforts to plan for the housing needs of Brookline,” Louis Martin, associate director of the department’s division of community services, said in the letter.

With the certification in place, the town’s zoning board has the option of continuing to issue permits for Chapter 40B projects or declining them.

Developments already proposed to the town would not be affected by the state housing agency’s certification, but a January decision by undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay allowed local officials take additional time to review them.

Read More.