Tag Archives: Affordable Housing

Recent Affordable Housing Accomplishments #Housing4All #affordablehousing #OurHomesOurVoices

The Dennis Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, Housing Coordinator, Planning Office and Planning Board have been quite busy in recent months on the affordable housing front. Here are some highlights since January 1st .

1. 98 South Yarmouth Road – Habitat for Humanity has received approval for a three bedroom house at 98 South Yarmouth Road. The Special Permit has been finalized, with no challenges, and Habitat can proceed with this project.

2. Janall Drive – Habitat has acquired, through donation, the two affordable lots that were a part of the Janall Drive affordable housing development. The Planning Board approved modifications to the Special Permit and Site Plan for these two homes, and they are expected to proceed to construction.

3. FORWARD Housing at the Rock – The FORWARD project has received its Special Permit for construction of two four-bedroom dwellings within a duplex structure. It is our hope that FORWARD will soon be the recipient of a state housing grant to support this project.

4. Dennis Port Motel Conversion – The Planning Board has approved the conversion of the long vacant Dennis Port Motel into twelve rental apartments. The conversion will involve the combining of hotel rooms into a mixture of efficiency, studio and one- bedroom apartments. While rents on all the units will probably be within range of many workers in town, three units are required to be deed restricted affordable. I have already received inquiries about potentially living in these new apartments from residents of Dennis.

5. 317 Sea Street, Dennis Port – The Planning Board approved the conversion of the three bay garage located at 317 Sea Street in Dennis Port into four one-bedroom apartments. One unit will be accessed by way of a ramp for handicap accessibility. The existing, wide open driveway will be reduced in size with landscaping added. One of the four units will be deed restricted affordable.

6. 72/74 Swan River Road – The Dennis Municipal Affordable Housing Trust has acquired the property at 72/74 Swan River Road. The property will be added to our affordable housing rental stock, with both units being deed restricted affordable.

Cambridge housing lottery for middle-income families – The Boston Globe

We have a provision in our affordable housing by-law for some projects to provide a share of the extra units for those earning between 80% and 120% of median income. I have been thinking we might want to expand this to more projects, but not sure how to do it without taking away units that would go to those earning below 80% of median income.

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In the latest sign of the housing crunch gripping Greater Boston, Cambridge on Monday held a lottery to provide affordable housing for families whose income tipped into the six-figures. And it received dozens of applications.

Source: Cambridge housing lottery for middle-income families – The Boston Globe

DWELLING, ONE UNIT WITH ACCESSORY APARTMENT

A second zoning amendment the Planning Board will be discussing tonight deals with allowing for “in-law” apartments. In 1999 the Planning Board brought to Town Meeting amendments to definitions. One definition added was the creation of a term “DWELLING, ONE UNIT WITH ACCESSORY APARTMENT” however, this particular use was never added to the use table.

The Planning Board is considering adding this to the use table and will also be discussing the definition, which is a bit cumbersome at the moment.

Amend Section 5 Definitions by editing  the Definition of DWELLING, ONE UNIT WITH ACCESSORY APARTMENT (Deletions Strikethrough, Additions Bold Italic) as follows:

DWELLING, ONE UNIT WITH ACCESSORY APARTMENT An owner-occupied building containing two (2) dwelling units, one (1) of which shall be an accessory apartment with a net floor living area not to exceed six hundred (600) square feet, which includes not more than one bedroom, a kitchen, living room and bath. For the purpose of this definition, either one unit shall be owner occupied on a year-round basis, except for bona fide temporary absences during which the owner occupied unit shall is not be rented. The apartment created by this definition shall be restricted to use by the property owner’s immediate family, including in-laws (mother, father, brother, sister), and/or a health care professional providing a service to the above family.

Amend Section 2.2.2.2 Residential Uses by adding a new subsection 2.2.2.2.k DWELLING, ONE UNIT WITH ACCESSORY APARTMENT.

PRINCIPAL USES DISTRICT
R-40

R-60

Quivet Neck/Crowe’s Pasture Resource Protection District RR LB EB GC-I GC-II

GC-III

I DPVC

Area A

DPVC

Area B

2. RESIDENTIAL USES
k. Dwelling, One Unit With Accessory Apartment Y N Y Y N N Y N Y Y

Affordable Housing Data from the 2013 American Community Survey – Part 3

The following information has been extracted from the American Community Survey and paints a rather bleak picture for housing affordability in Dennis. This information was made available to the town leaders participating in the March 3rd Housing Forum hosted by the Dennis Board of Selectmen.

Finally, some information on home owners.

  • 82.6% of owners live in structures with just one unit either single family home on a separate lot (79.8%) or a detached dwelling on a lot with another home (2.8%)
  • 3.2% are in duplex units and 14% are in multi-family settings.

As most would suspect, we are a heavily single family community when it comes to home ownership. While we have a few multi-family ownership properties, they make up a small portion of the overall housing picture.

  • 8.7% of owners are in one or no bedroom units
  • 91.3% are in units with two or more bedrooms
  • 36.2% of owners are in single person households
  • 13.7% of owners are in 4 or more person households

These numbers are both frightening and interesting. While the American Community Survey does not directly provide this information, the large percentage of single person households owning homes is most likely due to the age of our population. It more accurately reflects a larger number of widows and widowers remaining in their homes than single younger residents buying into the housing market. It does suggest that there is a continuing, and growing, need for more housing opportunities for our senior residents looking to downsize.

  • 32.7% of owners pay more than 30% of their income for housing costs
  • Of owners earning less than $35,000 annually 77% pay more than 30% of their income on housing costs
  • 5,205 households reporting in 2013, 1,702 are paying over 30% of the monthly income for housing.
  • Mortgage Holders with Owner Costs exceeding 30% of income 1,205 (42.4%)
  • Ownership units with no mortgage with housing costs exceeding 30% of income 493 (21.6%)

Some scary numbers, nearly one-third of our home owner population is paying more than 30% of their monthly income on housing costs. Essentially, this means that one-third of our population is cutting corners in other aspects of their lives simply to pay the mortgage, insurance and taxes. There are 1,176 home owners earning less than $35,000 annually, 77% or 906 of these are paying over 30% of their monthly income for housing costs. Really scary is the 493 home owners paying over 30% of their monthly income to home ownership costs – while not having a mortgage. Most likely, this latter category reflects elderly home owners who are living on fixed incomes that fall below the poverty rate.

  • Median Household Income 2013 $50,672.
  • 70% of median income $35,470 (70% of median typical ownership yardstick for affordable housing)
  • 2,602 owner households earning $50,672 or less annually
  • 1,265 owner households earning less than $35,000

For home ownership, and affordable home ownership, Median Household Income and 70% of Median Household income are critical figures. Median household income is the point at which half the people earn either above or below that point. Generally, people earning 70% of median household income are potentially eligible for affordable home ownership programs.

  • Housing Buying Power at Median Household Income $168,906
  • 401 Owner occupied housing valued under $150,000
  • Buying power at 70% of median income $118,233
  • 216 (est) Owner occupied housing valued under $118,000

Half the households in Dennis, under traditional measures, have the financial wherewithal to pay up to just under $169,000 for a home and not anticipate spending more than 30% of their monthly income on housing costs. For those at 70% of median income, they need to find homes selling for $118,000 to get their foot in the door and not expect to pay more than 30% of their income on home ownership costs. Based upon the American Community Survey, there were about 216 ownership units in Dennis valued at or under $118,000. A far cry below the 1,265 households who might be able to purchase such housing.

  • Ownership Affordable Housing Deficit – Two Measurements
  • Paying over 30% of income on ownership costs – Deficit of 1,702 affordable units
  • Buying Power – deficit of 1,049 affordable ownership housing units

Finally, what is our affordable housing ownership  deficit? If we look at providing housing for all residents presently paying more than 30% of their monthly income towards housing, we need to find  ownership housing for as many as 1,702 households. If we look simply at the buying power of people earning up to 70% of median income, we have an affordable ownership deficit of 1,049 housing units.

When combined with the rental affordable housing deficit, Dennis needs to seek to provide as many as 2,000 housing units, whether rental or ownership, affordable to people earning 80% or less of median income.

The State Housing Inventory suggests we need a total of 765 affordable housing units. Real need is far higher than this figure.

Affordable Housing Data from the 2013 American Community Survey – Part 2

The following information has been extracted from the American Community Survey and paints a rather bleak picture for housing affordability in Dennis. This information was made available to the town leaders participating in the March 3rd Housing Forum hosted by the Dennis Board of Selectmen.

Second, some information on poverty levels.

  • 12.3% of all families live in poverty
  • 37.6% of families with children under age 18 live in poverty
  • 16.9% of all residents live in poverty
  • 45.1% of all children under age 18 live in poverty

2013 poverty limits  and additional data – Massachusetts (poverty)/Dennis (Fair Market Rents)

Family size Annual Income Monthly Income Rent they can afford Corresponding Fair Market Rent for Family Size Income Deficit
1  $11,490  $958  $287  $825  $(538)
2  $15,510  $1,293  $388  $920  $(532)
3  $19,530  $1,628  $488  $1,234  $(746)
4  $23,550  $1,963  $589  $1,614  $(1,025)
5  $27,570  $2,298  $689  $1,695  $(1,006)

Poverty data reveals more telling needs than we might see from the rental data previously discussed.  While I noted that we have a deficit of 217 one-bedroom rental units, we, more tellingly, have a deficit of 747 family rental housing units.  Delving deeper into the numbers, almost 490 housing units are needed for families living in poverty, we do not have a corresponding figure for households (household counts include families, single people, and other living arrangements of unrelated individuals). These are housing for people generally earning less than 30% of median income. The Housing Authority, Lewis Gordon Senior Apartments and Dennis Commons provide housing for a portion of this target population, however, if these facilities were occupied completely by families in poverty, the would meet only half the need for this type of housing. Looking ahead at the figures that will come out of the next post, nearly one-quarter of our affordable housing needs are for families living in poverty.

Affordable Housing Data from the 2013 American Community Survey – Part 1

The following information has been extracted from the American Community Survey and paints a rather bleak picture for housing affordability in Dennis. This information was made available to the town leaders participating in the March 3rd Housing Forum hosted by the Dennis Board of Selectmen.

First, some information on renters.

  • 43.6% of renters rent in structures with just one unit either single family home on a separate lot (38.4%) or a detached dwelling on a lot with another home (5.2%).
  • 13.8% are in duplex units and 41.9% are in multi-family settings. The remaining are in mobile home or similar settings.
  • 32.6% of renters are in one or no bedroom units
  • 67.4% are in units with two or more bedrooms
  • 47.6% of renters are in single person households
  • 23.7% of renters are in 4 or more person households

It can be inferred that at least 15% of households are renting larger units than they may physically need based upon the percentage of renters in single person households, versus the percentage in one-bedroom and studio style apartments. In total, there are 217 single person households renting two bedroom or larger apartments.

  • 72.7% of renters pay more than 30% of their income for housing costs
  • Of those renters earning less than $35,000 annually 92% pay more than 30% of their income on housing costs

There are about 940 people renting and earning less than $35,000. Of these 864 need rental units that cost less than $875, In 2013 426 rental units were reporting rents of $875 or less. That leaves a shortfall in housing for this economic level of 438 units of housing.

  • Of the 1,326 households reporting in 2013, 964 are paying over 30% of the monthly income for rent.
  • Of the 362 not paying over 30% of their income, 286 are living in Housing Authority, Lewis Gordon, Northside Senior Housing or Dennis Commons

Overall, we have a shortfall of 964 affordable rental units.

Micro-Apartments: Boston’s Housing Solution Or Developers’ Cash Cow? | WBUR

Micro-Apartments: Boston’s Housing Solution Or Developers’ Cash Cow? | WBUR.

What do you think? Could Dennis, especially in its village centers, benefit from “Micro-Apartments”?