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LETTER FROM SEN. RICHARD T. MOORE ON 40B REFORM
Dear Colleagues –
I am writing to invite you to sign onto a late file petition that I am filing relative to reforming Chapter 40 B – the Commonwealth’s affordable housing law. In recent years, I have heard increasing criticism of Chapter 40 B. It aims at building affordable housing, but is currently used more as a tool by developers to sidestep all local zoning to build highly profitable housing developments.
My proposed reforms would work to close some of these loopholes. They would
1) Require direct public financial subsidies for 40 B projects. This subsidy would bring more oversight from state and federal agencies and subsequently reduce the abuses of the law that have occurred.
2) Increase the percentage of required affordable housing in a 40 B developments from 20-25% to 30%. In the last 3 years 30% of all new construction has been proposed under 40 B. This leaves little doubt as to the profitability of these developments and illustrates that developers can afford to build more affordable units in each project.
3) Limit the profits of 40B developments. The law was initially drafted to limit the profits of these developments to 20%. However, in recent years, developers have found ways to inflate project costs beyond their actual investment. This would bill would limit developers to seeking 20% profit on only their actual investment.
4) Limit the variances a developer can seek under Chapter 40 B to density and lot area requirements. Lot size and density restrictions are widely seen as the major impediments to affordable housing. This would allow developers to seek waivers for these requirements while keeping other local regulation such as sewer connection regulations and use zoning.
Attached is a copy of the bill and a brief summary. If you are interested in signing onto the attached legislation or have questions, please email or contact Tim Hoppe ([email protected]) in my office by 12:00pm on Thursday, December 1st.
Richard T. Moore
Worcester & Norfolk District