At the February 10, 2009 Board of Selectman meeting, a board member suggested that municipal and school department employees would not qualify for 40b housing. According to 760 CMR 56.02,
Income Eligible Household – [emphasis added] means a household of one or more persons whose maximum income does not exceed 80% of the area median income, adjusted for household size, or as otherwise established by the Department in guidelines. For homeownership programs, the Subsidizing Agency may establish asset limitations for Income Eligible Households by statute, regulations, or guideline. In the absence of such provisions, Income Eligible Households shall be subject to asset and/or other financial limitations as defined by the Department in guidelines. (source: MA Housing and Development web site.)
According to a letter to the editor published in both The Sun Chronicle and The Country Gazette by Wrentham Resident Marjorie Immonen, the area’s median income is $82.400. The Wrentham Personnel Bylaws list salary ranges on p. 33ff and have much to say on this issue. A great many of our staff fall below the 80% threshold.
Now that Wrentham Zoning By-Law 13.3 has been stricken from the books we do not have to accept a 40b project of any sort. The town is free to develop affordable housing with the full protection of the local permitting process.13.3 previously stipulated 40b as the ONLY way to create affordable housing.
We should form an affordable housing athority and take care of our own instead of spending our money on 40b experts and pursuing policies with a low likelihood of success.