Thank you for engaging with us through this community site using the CoUrbanize platform. By adding your voice, the work of the Affordable Housing Trust Working Group reflected the needs, priorities, and concerns of our community. After weeks of information, updates, comments, and feedback, the voters at Fall Town Meeting on November 7, 2020, voted to create the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust and provide significant initial funding to the Trust.
On behalf of the entire Working Group, I want to thank you for your participation. I want to thank the Massachusetts Housing Partnership for making this community site possible. I also want to thank the Board of Selectmen, our Town Manager and Assistant Town Manager, and the many department heads and staff that assisted us with information and support throughout this process.
Please check the Town of Westborough website for information about the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust once the Trustee appointments are complete.
Interested in working to improve housing affordability in Westborough? Want to serve and give back to your community?
The Board of Selectmen is looking to appoint six members to the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust. Initial terms will be one or two years. If you are intrigued, but want more information, please email Selectman Allen Edinberg at email@example.com.
If you are ready to join the effort, please submit a letter of interest to the Board of Selectmen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include some information about yourself and your background, and what you feel you bring to the mission of the Trust.
Thank you all for the insightful input and ideas you’ve shared with us, and for your support.
Both warrant articles easily passed at Fall Town Meeting held on Saturday 11/11. The Westborough Affordable Housing Trust is ready to launch and has received initial funding.
- Parties interested in serving as Trustees should send a letter of interest to the Board of Selectmen, specifically to Cela Dorr, at email@example.com.
- The Board of Selectmen will appoint the initial Trustees
- Once appointed, the Trustees will record the Declaration of Trust with the Registrar of Deeds.
Your questions and feedback guide our work:
- Our latest FAQ answers the question: What are the roles of the Westborough Housing Authority, Housing Partnership, and the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust?
- Check out the Q&A and discussions in our Feedback section.
Please visit the site to learn, ask, and engage in the discussion.
Fall Town Meeting is a week away!
We are asking you to attend and support Articles 10 and 11, which will create the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust and provide the Trust with initial funds to begin its work.
- Article 10 creates the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust and adds a bylaw that empowers Town Meeting to govern the powers of the Trust.
- Article 11 provides funding using the first payment (of 14 payments) under the ZBA approved mitigation. There is no impact on property taxes. The article only uses this first payment. Any use of future mitigation payments will require a separate vote at future town meetings.
You can read Special Fall Town Meeting Warrant here.
We hope to see you there!
We have updated the Information & Plans links (bottom of the INFO page) to the final version of the Warrant Article and Town Bylaw needed to create the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust. The proposed bylaw, Article 17 - Affordable Housing Trust, mirrors proposed Declaration of Trust and creates oversight of the Trust by the Board of Selectmen beyond what is required under Massachusetts General Law.
The level of oversight intends to provide a checkpoint for certain financial decisions without preventing or delaying Trust decisions and activities.
Thank you all for the insightful input and ideas you’ve shared with us so far. Your input is guiding our research and planning efforts.
Here are 3 reasons to browse the site again:
- We have a new slideshow on our Home/Info page.
- We have added new questions and need your feedback here and here.
- You can read the Affordable Housing Analysis and Action Items report. The Introduction and Executive Summary provide a good overview of our work and why we want to create a Westborough Affordable Housing Trust.
Having completed our Affordable Housing Analysis and Action Plan, we are presenting the report to the Board of Selectmen and will be discussing the warrant articles for Fall Town Meeting. You can view the meeting via Westborough TV on channels FIOS 28 or Charter 192 or on the Westborough TV web site or YouTube channel.
The Board of Selectmen meeting starts at 5:00pm; The Affordable Housing Trust Working Group is scheduled for approximately 6:40pm. We suggest tuning in early in case the agenda moves ahead of schedule.
Whether or not you watch live or on-demand later, please add your ideas and comments on our site (https://courbanize.com/projects/waht/comments).
Thank you to everyone who has commented so far! Your feedback has helped us define our guiding principles and priorities. We are also sharing you ideas with the Master Plan Advisory Committee's Housing Subcommittee as well.
We Want to Know More:
- Where should Westborough focus our future housing efforts?
- What types of housing will best meet our needs in the future?
Visit our Comments Section, answer a some questions, and share your ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.
Does Affordable Housing Impact Neighboring Property Values?
The concern about the impact affordable housing has on neighboring property values is largely based on myth. The real estate site Trulia studied two decades of property value data in the 20 most expensive US housing markets. Analyzing the impact of affordable housing projects on neighboring real estate values, the study found no measurable impact. The one exception is in urban areas where the volume of affordable housing development, particularly in depressed neighborhoods, crowds out other development projects. In areas where affordable housing development coincides with broader economic and community development efforts, neighboring property values increase.
As one of its Guiding Principles, the Westborough Affordable Housing Trust will "Respect and reflect the architecture and styles of housing in our neighborhoods." The Trust will pursue projects that fit within the character of our neighborhoods and our Town, considering location, scope, design, and impact.
You can read the full Trulia report here.
Thank you all for the insightful input and ideas you have shared with us so far. Your feedback is guiding our planning and priorities and includes some creative, new ideas for us to consider.
We are excited to announce that we have added two "primers" to the site:
- Primer - Affordable Housing - Covers some of the basic terms and concepts around affordable housing and identifies many of the federal, state, and local entities involved in housing affordability.
- Primer - Housing Trusts - Covers the what, who, and how of municipal affordable housing trusts, including examples of successful projects in other towns.
Please continue to share your feedback, questions, and ideas in the comment section.
The Affordable Housing Trust Working Group
Thanks for visiting our new website! The purpose of this platform is to provide you with information about the work of the Affordable Housing Trust Working Group. As part of our charge from the Board of Selectmen, we will also be sharing information about housing affordability in Westborough and soliciting your input to help determine our needs and priorities.
Please take a look around, see what your neighbors are discussing, and share your ideas. And please hit the ‘Subscribe’ button to stay in-the-loop on all project updates.
Everything posted here is sent straight to the Affordable Housing Trust Working Group. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
A special note of gratitude to the Massachusetts Housing Partnership for providing us with this platform for community engagement.