In Massachusetts, if a community has less than 10% of its year round housing designated as “affordable” under the state definition of Subsidized Housing Inventory (the SHI list), then the community is vulnerable to 40b applications from developers. In order to meet the 10% Nantucket would need to have 490 properties that meet the requirements. Nantucket has recently reached a milestone by requesting approval, based on our current housing production plan, from the state Department of Housing and Community Development which would give us 2 years of “safe harbor” relief from any new 40b applications. Although Nantucket is currently only at 2.6% on the SHI list, the application was able to based on pending projects of both rental and ownership properties which are enough to buy us some time.
At our annual Town Meeting in April, voters approved an article that provides $20 million as a funding source to be used to obtain and create existing housing stock for affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund has recently appointed a committee called the Neighborhood First Committee, comprised of both seasonal and year round residents, to develop criteria and a plan for moving forward on this innovative project. Stay tuned for the outcomes!