What controls the limits of the Trust’s authority?

Although the concept of local housing trusts is not new, the state legislature concluded that - due to increased availability of local funding through inclusionary zoning, negotiated development fees, and state and federal funding - there was a need to provide specific legislation to allow communities to form their own municipal affordable housing trust funds. In 2005, the Massachusetts legislature passed the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund Law (MGL c.44 s.55C), which effectively simplified the process of establishing a local housing trust and allowed it to be created through the town meeting process.

The new law also set guidelines on what local housing trusts can do, specifies who can serve on a local housing trust board and establishes the powers a community can grant the board. Since the new law passed approximately 100 communities in Massachusetts have established municipal affordable housing trust funds

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1. Why is the creation of a local housing trust a benefit to the community?
2. What financial oversight of the trust will be required?
3. Are meetings of the trust subject to the open meeting law?
4. What controls the limits of the Trust’s authority?
5. What is the term of office for the trustees of the Housing Trust?
6. Who would appoint members to the housing trust?
7. Who would be members of the trust?
8. Can’t town staff and town meeting perform these functions now?
9. What funds can be used in a local housing trust?
10. Will the trust’s activities (including potential borrowing or property purchase) have the potential to negatively affect the Town, the Towns financial stability, bond rating or borrowing capacity?
11. What is the advantage to creating a local housing trust when we already have the Danvers Housing Authority?
12. What can a local housing trust do?