Affordable Housing Trust
The Select Board formally established the Affordable Housing Trust in 2021. The formal charge of the Housing Trust was adopted by the Select Board on Monday, January 25, 2021.
The Affordable Housing Trust focuses its efforts on the preservation and creation of affordable housing in Tyngsborough for the benefit of low and moderate income households. The Trust meets quarterly to discuss and monitor plans to acquire property or funds to be used exclusively for the preservation and and creation of affordable housing. The Trust is also responsible for managing funds sourced from Inclusionary Housing and the Community Preservation Act for the purposes of Affordable Housing. It shall work with the Community Preservation Committee to determine if additional funds are available to support specific projects.
The Tyngsborough Housing Authority is the entity in Tyngsborough responsible for managing public affordable housing. They maintain two public housing properties in Tyngsborough. Red Pines Terrace off Frost Road is affordable housing for seniors, non-senior handicap residents, and low income families. Brinley Terrace on Middlesex Road serves seniors and non-senior handicap residents.
The Affordable Housing Trust’s primary tasks are:
- Utilize the Housing Production Plan to identify community needs and identify potential locations or methods that would be suitable for the creation of affordable housing.
- Form a relationship with the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and other local resources that can assist with the financing and planning for affordable housing development.
- Evaluate the inclusionary zoning bylaw for potential improvements.
- Represent the interests of low and moderate income households when projects or developments are proposed that include or are required to include affordable units.
The Trustees of the Affordable Housing Trust are appointed by the Select Board and represent the Select Board, Planning Board, Town Administration, and the Housing Authority as outlined in the adopted charge. The Trust also shall include at least one resident at large. The terms are set with varying expiration dates to ensure continuity. All appointments following the initial appointment shall be for two years.
You can contact the Affordable Housing Trust by emailing [email protected] or by calling Eric Salerno, Town Planner at 978-649-2300 x115.
|Trustee Name||On Behalf Of||Term Expires|
|Mike Moran||Select Board||2024|
|Kimberly O’Brien||Planning Board||2023|
|Seth Braun||Housing Authority||2023|
|Eric Salerno||Town Manager’s Designee||2023|
|Sothea Chiemruom||Resident at Large||2023|
Why is the creation of a local housing trust a benefit to the community?
A housing trust can advance the Town’s local affordable housing goals which can be found in the current five-year Housing Production Plan adopted by the Select Board and Redevelopment Board in 2021. By establishing designated funds and creating a board to oversee their use, Tyngsboro can provide a local way to advocate for and facilitate the development of affordable workforce housing. Many current and future residents cannot afford to purchase or rent a home in town because of the high cost of housing; the trust can establish a locally-directed and coordinated process to help meet this need.
What can a local housing trust do and how is it funded?
A local housing trust allows municipalities to collect funds for affordable housing, separate them from the general fund into a trust fund, and designate and use the funds for local initiatives to create and preserve affordable housing. The sources vary among housing trusts. Under MGL c.44 s.55C sources of funding for trusts include: Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds, inclusionary zoning payments, negotiated developer fees, the Town’s general fund, grants, gifts, and private donations. However, any funding from the Town’s general fund or from the CPA would require Town Meeting action.
What are some examples of what a local affordable housing trust fund can do?
- Provide financial support for the construction of affordable workforce homes by private developers (non-profit or for- profit);
- Rehabilitate existing homes and apartments to convert to affordable workforce housing (rental or resale);
- Increase affordability in existing and future housing developments by providing funds to decrease debt and decrease the need for high rents;
- Develop surplus municipal property for affordable workforce housing;
- Preserve properties faced with expiring affordability restrictions in partnership with the owner or a new owner;
- Create programs to assist low- and moderate-income homebuyers;
- Create programs to help low- and moderate-income families make health and safety repairs; and
- Educate and advocate to advance affordable workforce housing initiatives.
Further, it is often the case when developing affordable workforce housing that local funds are the first committed funds to a project. A Trust can serve as a vehicle to aggregate existing resources as well as leverage new public and private resources to support the creation and preservation of affordable units by entities such as the Tyngsboro Housing Authority, or other non-profits
The Massachusetts Housing Partnership regularly collects and disseminates information about Municipal Affordable Housing Trusts through their Community Assistance Team. The most recent guidebook provides additional background and information about Trusts, including examples of Trusts in practice.