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Can’t town staff and town meeting perform these functions now?

Yes, however many of the activities listed above require a lengthy process which currently requires further Town Meeting action.  By establishing a housing trust the trust is able to buy and sell property without waiting for a Town Meeting to be scheduled – often, real estate opportunities that would preserve and create affordable housing are highly time-sensitive.  It would operate in a similar fashion to the procedure used to acquire open space in the community.  Town meeting voted more than 30 years ago to allow the Town Manager to negotiate and acquire open space without further Town Meeting action as long as the parcels were listed in the Town’s Open Space and Recreation Plan.  Through the years this has allowed for the acquisition of many parcels in a timely fashion without further approval from Town Meeting.

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