The Reading Experience Planning and Affordable Housing

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Peter Hechenbleikner

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The Reading Experience Planning and Affordable Housing

  1. 1. The Reading Experience Planning and Affordable Housing Peter Hechenbleikner, Retired Town Manager, Reading, June 5, 2014
  2. 2. Reading, MA ABOUT READING •  12 miles north of Boston •  Largely white-collar •  Increasing home values; low crime •  High rates of homeownership (81.2%) •  Well educated (1/2 of residents a four-year college degree) •  Excellent public schools - better than 98% of all U.S., better than 87% of schools in MA. 2 CNBC 2012 poll Ranked Reading in the top 10 “most perfect suburbs” Best mix of affordable housing, good schools, educated neighbors, low crime, employment, and reasonable commute
  3. 3. Beacon Court 40B Example of difficult site conditions 3 Experience with “less than optimal” 40B developments & other zoning efforts Greystone 40B Example of poorly located affordable housing Downtown mixed use zoning – unrealistic and unreasonable standards and restrictions, by special permit – nothing built
  4. 4. Milestones – Affordable Housing 4 •  2003 - only 9% of cities and towns met 10% affordability criterion of. Chapter 40B. •  Reading was in the majority 2000 404 units of affordable housing 4.6% 2005 675 units of affordable housing 6.2% 2010 685 units of affordable housing 7% 2012 817 units of affordable housing 8.52% 2012 817 units of affordable housing 7.15% (re-set because of census)
  5. 5. Current SHI Census 2010 Total Housing Units 9,584 Total SHI 685 Current % Subsidized 7.15 Projected SHI Units by Project ü  30 Haven - Oaktree 11 ü  Reading Woods 43 ü  Johnson Woods I 17 ü  Johnson Woods II 19 MF Charles 3 45 Beacon Street (40B) 3 Peter Sanborn Place (LIP) 47 Current + Projected 828 Future % SHI 8.64 Additional Units Needed 130 Total SHI Needed 958 % Subsidized 10 The Reading housing plan will need to demonstrate the development of 48 units (0.5%) per year A total of 143 units in the queue to be on the SHI in the next few years Need 130 more units to reach 10% 5 Outlook Beyond 2012
  6. 6. Planning for Affordable Housing Smart Growth (40R) Zoning Incentives: Ø 2 Smart Growth (40R) Districts; Other Zoning Incentives: Ø Planned Unit Districts (PUD-R); Ø Planned Residential Districts (PRD); 6
  7. 7. Planning Initiatives In addition to and supplementing 40R Smart Growth zoning: Ø Housing Production Plan; Ø Regional Housing Services (DLTA); Ø Regional Mapping Project – highlighting priority development and preservation areas Ø Asking for more affordable housing from developers; Ø Encouraging friendly 40B’s (two pending); Ø Supporting non-profit affordable housing developers. 7
  8. 8. PUD-­‐R  and  Local  Ini0a0ve  Program  (LIP)  Johnson Woods, Phase I •  166 total units •  17 affordable units (10%) Johnson Woods, Phase II • 127 new units (under construction), • 19 affordable units (15%). 8
  9. 9. Reading’s Commitment to Affordable Housing In March 2011, MassHousing rejected a 40B proposal “Reading  has  made  a  good-­‐faith   effort  to  increase  its  affordable   housing  stock,  most  notably  by   approving  two  Smart  Growth   Overlay  Zoning  Districts  under   Chapter  40R”     “the  parcel  of  land  already  included   two  exisEng  homes  that  fit  in  well   with  the  paGern  of  development  in   the  surrounding  neighborhood”…and   to  “replace  the  exisEng  homes  with   20  new  units  of  housing,  especially  in   the  context  of  a  constrained  site   plan,  was  in  our  opinion  ill-­‐advised”    
  10. 10. 40R Smart Growth Zoning Downtown 40R Smart Growth District - 2009 •  Creates 256 potential housing units within 26 acres •  53 units recently completed (20% affordable)    Gateway 40R Smart Growth District - 2007 •  Created 202 housing units •  43 affordable units completed (25% +1) 458 Total Units By Right 10
  11. 11. Smart Growth - Affordable Housing   Oaktree  –  30  Haven  Street   Reading  Woods  –  1  Jacob  Way   Downtown Smart Growth District Oaktree Development 53 units built – 11 affordable units Gateway Smart Growth District Reading Woods 202 units built - 43 affordable units 11
  12. 12. 30 Haven Street (DSG) Transit oriented 12
  13. 13. 30 Haven Street (DSG) Mixed Use 13
  14. 14. 14 Fits within the downtown fabric
  15. 15. 30 Haven Street (DSG) 15 Who lives there?
  16. 16. 30 Haven Street (DSG) 16 24.5%  of  the  units  have  children 12  children  total 30%  of  the  units  have  pets 15  pets  total 10  dogs  &  5  cats Cars 7%  or  4  of  the  units  don't  have  cars Including  27%  of  the  affordable  units  (3  out  of  11)  don't  have  cars 22%  or  11  of  the  total  units  have  2  cars
  17. 17. Planned  Addi0onal  DSG   MF Charles Building – Downtown Smart Growth 40R • Phased Mixed Use – Historic Rehab • Local developer will add up to14 future residential units • Will add 3 affordable units   17
  18. 18. Downtown Smart Growth What makes it work? • Design Guidelines give the community some control • “As of Right” gives the developer some certainty • Presence of downtown parking for the commercial aspects • Underground parking meets resident parking demand • Redevelopment gave us the opportunity • Lots of process 18
  19. 19. Downtown Smart Growth What does the community get out of it? • Provision of affordable housing with some level of local control • Support for economic development broadly – jobs cannot grow without housing for workers • Offers another housing alternative • Sustainability model of development – less cars on the roads, ability to walk to work/mass transit • Community vibrancy and sense of place • Enhances the community reputation as a great place to live, work, and play 19
  20. 20. Population Trends – Ø expected 54% increase in the 60+ age group from 2010 to 2020; SHI Regulations – Ø only received credit for 11 of the 53 rental units at the Oaktree Development (DSG) since Reading’s DSG 40R zoning requires only 20% affordable Ø DHCD regulations require 25% affordability for full credit of all rental units. Ø DHCD intends to (has?) clarify this in the future for potential 40R communities. 20 Challenges and Opportunities
  21. 21. Managing Development Ø balance development and preservation. Ø DLTA Regional Mapping project - aid in guiding development Friendly 40B’s Ø could generate additional units, positive for SHI but need to be aware of other impacts Managing Responsibilities for Existing Affordable Housing Stock Ø Regional approach 21 Challenges and Opportunities (continued)

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