Affordable Housing Lotteries MAUnderstand How They Work and How You Can Apply
MA Affordable Housing Lottery Overview
MGL 40B “ANTI-SNOB ZONING ACT” Overview
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Law M.G.L. c. 40B §§ 20-23, enacted as Ch. 774 of the Acts 1969, also known as the Comprehensive Permit Statute, Ch. 40B or the “Anti-Snob” Zoning Act, encourages the Construction of Affordable Housing using locally granted permits.
It was enacted to help address the shortage of affordable housing statewide by reducing unnecessary barriers created by the local approval process, local zoning and other restrictions. A “Comprehensive Permit” is an all-encompassing permit which subsumes all permits and approvals normally issued by other local boards.
The permit typically allows a developer to build at a higher density than is normally allowed under a municipality’s zoning laws. The law enables a Local Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), in consultation with other local boards and officials to grant a single permit to an eligible developer pursuing a development of low-or moderate-income housing.
The Act requires all communities to use a streamlined review process to develop such housing, including request for zoning and other regulatory waivers.
Upon receipt of a “Project Eligibility Letter,” a developer can submit an application to the local Zoning Board of Appeals for a comprehensive permit in accordance with MGL 40B and regulatory agreement. The Board must convene a hearing within 30 days of the application’s receipt.
Affordable Housing Lottery
Once approved a date will be scheduled for a lottery for the availabl homes for sale, held in conjunction with the local housing authority.
First Come First Serve
Once the lottery is conducted, if there are not enough applicants to fill the homes allotted, the development will be opened on a first come first serve basis.
Who Qualifies for MA
Affordable Buyers must be First Time Home Buyers as defined in the regulations with the exception of:
- Displaces Homemakers
- Households where at least one household member is 55 or older
- Persons within a household who have not owned a home in three years
In addition to being a “First Time Home Buyer” the buyer must meet the income and asset limits. That is, the buyers total household income cannot be too high, yet they must earn enough to meet the lenders underwriting standards. In addition, they usually require a credit score of not less than 660 as well as not exceeding the asset limit. We call this the 10% window which makes the task of finding Qualified First Time Home Buyers most difficult.
Timber Ridge A private developer, Southeastern Sand and Gravel, Inc. and officials of the Town of Kingston have collaborated to provide this affordable housing opportunity in Kingston. The development is situated on 28-acres of land...read more
This dwelling unit is located at 828 South Main Street, Bellingham MA at the Robin Hood South Condominium. The unit contains approximately 1,215 square feet and has a fifty percent (50%) undivided...read more
Lakeland Farms A private developer, Lakeland Farms, LLC and officials of the Town of Norfolk have collaborated to provide this affordable housing opportunity in Norfolk. The development is situated on 8.85 acres of land...read more