Who lives in affordable housing?

People who need housing that is affordable could be your children, young families just starting out, town employees, teachers, your server at a restaurant in town, or people working at local businesses. A rent increase, divorce, loss of a spouse, job loss, or other adverse circumstances may create additional needs for housing that is affordable as well. 

People often look at a community’s Subsidized Housing Inventory or SHI as an indication of the acceptable number of affordable homes and for determining a community's compliance with Chapter 40B, Massachusetts' comprehensive permit law. Lexington’s subsidized housing inventory percentage of 10.95% has been trending down since 2020 (Source: Metropolitan Area Planning Council 8.2023 Report).

The SHI percentage includes market-rate units that are part of a development if at least 20% of the units are occupied by households earning less than 50% of area median income or if at least 25% of the units are occupied by households earning less than 80% of area median income. In actuality, only 684 out of 12,252 (Source: 2016-2020 American Community Survey; DHCD Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI); US Census 2020). Lexington households are truly affordable for lower-income households or only 5.5% of the total housing stock in Lexington.

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1. Why is there an urgent need for housing that is affordable?
2. Who lives in affordable housing?
3. What are the benefits for Lexington as a community of approving Article 33?
4. What is Article 33 asking Town Meeting to do?
5. What is Parcel 68-44?
6. Why are the Select Board and the Affordable Housing Trust considering Parcel 68-44 for affordable housing?
7. Is the Parcel feasible to develop?
8. What are the goals for this parcel?
9. Why all affordable?
10. What comes next?
11. What are the Town's options for this parcel if Warrant Article 33 passes?
12. Who develops affordable housing?
13. How is affordable housing financed?
14. What will be the Town's anticipated commitment?
15. Why is a LIP 40B Comprehensive Permit recommended?
16. What is the Comprehensive Permit Process?
17. What is the process followed by the Zoning Board of Appeals?
18. How long will the whole process take?
19. Will the new MBTA Multi-family zoning and the revised Special Residential Development zoning create affordable housing?
20. Is another Town Meeting approval required?
21. What is the Request for Proposals (RFP) likely to include?
22. How much affordable housing is expected to be built?
23. Will a traffic study be conducted?
24. What about walkability to and from the site?
25. What service is provided by Lexpress?
26. How many students are expected?
27. How will this proposal affect property values?
28. Will environmental concerns be considered?
29. Is the infrastructure adequate?
30. What about construction noise, impact on traffic, Lowell Street closures and contractor parking
31. What would be the income of people living there?
32. What are the opportunities for community engagement?
33. Outreach to Date
34. Will the units be affordable in perpetuity?
35. How will affordability be guaranteed in perpetuity?
36. Will any units be "attainable"?
37. Will any units be market rate?
38. Is there a projected cost of building 50 units? Are there sufficient AHT and CPA funds to cover the construction cost?
39. I would like to better understand the Lexpress service as it could be used by future residents of parcel 68-44