Housing, Zoning, Land UseWebinarPublication Date: Sep 10, 2021

The affordable housing crisis is confronting municipalities all across the Commonwealth. Demand for affordable housing continues to far outpace supply, and municipal officials are faced with the task of coming up with solutions that will work best for their communities’ situations.

Easton Select Board Chair Dottie Fulginiti, an economic recovery planner with the Old Colony Planning Council, opened the webinar with a discussion about how elected officials can build community support for affordable housing, drawing on examples from her experience in Easton. Fulginiti discussed strategies for managing public conversations about affordable housing projects, including setting and sticking to clear ground rules for public meetings.

Jennifer Van Campen, executive director of MetroWest Collaborative Development, discussed different approaches to making affordable housing projects happen from a nonprofit developer’s perspective. Van Campen emphasized the importance of partnership with municipal leaders in developing successful affordable housing projects. Van Campen discussed some of the crucial pieces that are needed for an affordable housing project to be successful, including a strong affordable housing trust, consensus from all partners on goals, contributions of both money and land from municipalities, and political leadership.

Judi Barrett of Barrett Planning Group discussed the importance of connecting conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion with those about the availability of affordable housing.

Barrett provided an overview of the historical connection between the Federal Fair Housing Act and Massachusetts Chapter 40B. Barrett discussed the importance of municipal leaders taking an equity policy perspective when looking at affordable housing projects, cultivating community support for housing equity, regulating for housing equity, and making investments in housing equity.

Building Affordable Housing – MetroWest Collaborative Development presentation (2M PDF)
Does Your Town Have Room for Me? Housing Equity, Inclusion and Home Rule – Barrett Planning Group presentation (6M PDF)
Housing Success From an Elected Perspective – Dottie Fulginiti presentation (300K PDF)