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FAQ Topic: DAHT FAQ's

Why is the creation of a local housing trust a benefit to the community?

A housing trust can advance the Town’s local housing goals and help to ensure that we continue to have a minimum of 10% of our housing stock certified as affordable.  By establishing designated funds and creating a board to oversee their use, Danvers provides a local way to advocate for, and facilitate the development of, … Continued

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.  … Continued

Who would be members of the trust?

The trust consists of seven voting trustees.  The Board’s membership would always include one member of the Board of Selectmen and one representative from the Danvers Housing Authority.  The Town Manager, or his designee, would serve as a non-voting member.  Remaining trustees must be Danvers’ residents with expertise and experience relative to housing management and … Continued

What funds can be used in a local housing trust?

The sources vary among housing trusts.  Under MGL c.44 s.55C sources of funding for trusts include:  Community Preservation Act funds, inclusionary zoning payments, negotiated developer fees, the town’s general fund, grants, gifts, and private donations. However, any funding from the Town’s general fund would require a Town Meeting action.  In addition the Town of Danvers … Continued

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 … Continued

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?

This question was forwarded to Town Counsel and his written opinion in part stated “On general, ‘trust principles’, the trust is a separate legal entity from the person or persons creating it.  Therefore, in a legal sense, an Affordable Housing Trust created by a Municipality under C. 44, section 55C of the Mass. General Laws … Continued

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