Town Manager Jim FeeneyTown Manager James R. Feeney

UPDATED July 1: The state has approved Arlington's Economic Feasibility Analysis (EFA), aiming to pave the way for lower rents in affordable housing in zoning overlays in town. This change was described in a video update from Town Manager Jim Feeney released Thursday, June 27.

The  video also talks about an annual financial report for fiscal 2023. The public can view it online here >> See the proposed FY2025 budget and financial plan for fiscal 2025 here >>  

Here is information about documents pertaining to town finances for Fiscal Year 2024, which ended Sunday.

The analysis has to do with a bylaw adopted by Special Town Meeting in October 2023. The analysis was approved earlier this month, meaning that the town can apply its affordable housing bylaw to projects that may in future be developed in MBTA Communities Overlay Districtstown of arlington logo

This state approval gives Arlington the ability to apply more rigorous affordability requirements. Specifically, 15 percent of a building with six or more units in a new project in an overlay district are to be made affordable to potential renters earning 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). 

This approval was made by the state's Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (until last year known as the Department of Housing and Community Development) and also by the state attorney general, a news release earlier this month said.

"The town is committed to increasing our affordable-housing stock, and this approval is another tool for us to create a variety of affordable-housing options,” Feeney said in a town news release.

Feeney continued, “It is crucial we maintain our higher level of affordability requirements -- and having the MBTA Communities Overlay Districts located in areas with easy access to public transportation and near commercial corridors [will] help support our affordable-housing goals.” 

The relevant bylaw requires that 15 percent of any development with six or more residential units is to be deed-restricted for at least 30 years for households earning 60 percent or less of the AMI for rental units, or 70 percent or less of the AMI for homeownership units. (The state itself requires an 80 percent or less threshold for AMI rather than 60 percent or 70 percent.)

Read details, such as the difference in the relevant dollar amounts between the two thresholds, here >>

The MBTA Communities Plan was signed into law in 2020 by then-Gov. Charlie Baker, immediate predecessor to current Gov. Maura Healey. It requires 175 municipalities served by public transportation through the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or MBTA, including Arlington, to designate areas where multifamily housing aka apartments could be built.

Sept. 13, 2023: Reception held for new town manager

This news announcement was published Saturday, June 29, 2024, based on statements from the town website. It was updated Monday, July 1, to provide a link to Fiscal Year 2024 data.

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