Foxborough Housing

Thanks for attending the Housing Panel Feb 11

Over 70 residents attended a great Q&A session with housing experts to learn what it takes to build smaller, more affordable housing options. See below for more information, or watch the video here!

Housing Needs and Concerns

Foxborough has launched a community-driven planning process to identify housing goals and facilitate a series of community discussions around housing needs and concerns in town.

Learn more below!

Updates

STAY TUNED FOR MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE THIS SPRING!

The town, the project working group, and MAPC are working on possible strategies to help address the housing needs and concerns that have been raised over the past several months. Our next steps will be to discuss these potential strategies and ask for residents’ input at an upcoming forum in the spring (date TBD).  More information coming soon!

1Asset 1

About

Foxborough is launching a community-driven planning process to identify housing goals and facilitate a series of community discussions around housing needs and concerns in town. This dialogue will culminate in a Housing Production Plan (HPP), which will outline strategies for Foxborough to plan for and guide development of housing. The HPP will build a vision for the town’s housing landscape, lay out context-sensitive strategies to expand housing choice and opportunity, and recommend practical action items to meet housing need and demand. Foxborough has partnered with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to develop the HPP with a grant from the state Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs.

Timeline

HPP Draft Components:
  • Housing Needs Assessment: September – December 2019
  • Development Constraints and Opportunities: November 2019 – March 2020
  • Housing Goals and Strategies: March – May 2020
  • Housing Production Plan: May – August 2020

Four community-wide discussions are planned to occur throughout the process, tentatively planned for November 2019 and January, March, and May 2020. Information about these and other opportunities to participate in the process will be posted on this website; check back for more information!

Working Group

The HPP is guided by a Working Group made up of town residents from a variety of backgrounds. Working Group members are responsible for sharing local knowledge of community attitudes towards housing, housing need and demand, challenges and barriers to meeting demand, and development opportunity areas; identifying stakeholders; and reviewing and providing input on plan elements. The Working Group will meet approximately 5 times over the course of the planning process.

Kathy Brady, Resident

Ron Bresse, Planning Board representative

Jared Craig, Resident

Leah Gibson, Board of Selectmen representative

Gaby Jordan, Resident and Town Staff

John McDonald, Resident

Linda Shea, Resident

Steve Coote, Resident

Scott O'Donnell, Resident

Past Events

Project Kickoff Day

September 23, 2019

The project team had a kickoff day in Foxborough to gain a greater understanding of Foxborough’s housing context. The day included a first meeting with the project working group, a tour of the town, focus groups with local real estate professionals and with seniors, and informal discussions with stakeholders. Some of the most common themes included concern over increasing housing costs, which are especially concerning for those on a fixed income; lack of affordable options for starter homes or downsizing; and the desire for housing to fit in with Foxborough’s character. For a more detailed summary of the day, click the link to the right.

First HPP Forum

November 13, 2019

The Town hosted a Conversation on Housing to share information on the state of housing in Foxborough and to learn about residents’ priorities for housing in town. About 40 people attended the forum in person, and it was also broadcast on Foxboro Cable Access. Additionally, roughly 200 people engaged with an online version of the forum. Attendees heard a presentation about the “State of Housing” in Foxborough given by MAPC, and then participated in discussions to respond to the data, share their housing goals for the town, and consider the variety of housing needs in Foxborough. Many of the themes were consistent with what we heard at the kickoff day, including concern over rising housing costs; the need for options for seniors, including both support for aging in place and affordable downsizing options; housing for families, especially those starting out; and housing that fits the scale and character of the community. This input will be used by the project team to guide the focus of the HPP moving forward. For a full summary of the forum and the responses we received, click the link to the right.

Housing Panel Discussion

February 11, 2020

At fall engagement events, we’ve often heard residents express the need for smaller, more affordable housing options for families starting out or for residents who want to downsize while staying in Foxborough. To better understand what it takes to build this sort of housing, and why isn’t it happening in Foxborough, we invited a panel of experts – including developers and architects – to discuss what it takes to build smaller, more affordable housing options. Over 70 residents joined the conversation.

Event Materials

  • Event Summary
  • Event Video Note: The video begins with introductory remarks and presentations from the panelist; the Q&A portion begins at approximately 40 minutes.

Affordable Housing

Housing is considered “affordable” when it costs 30% or less of a household’s income. One type of affordable housing is “naturally affordable,” which refers to unsubsidized, market-rate housing that is less expensive because it is older or smaller. Other Affordable Housing is deed-restricted to eligible low- and moderate-income residents. This deed-restricted Affordable Housing has restrictions to preserve affordability for decades or in perpetuity, and is usually constructed with government subsidy or as part of government regulations.

Affordable Housing eligibility is usually based on a region’s Area Median Income (AMI), which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The AMI for Foxborough and the surrounding communities in 2019 is $113,300. Typically, households eligible for deed-restricted Affordable Housing must earn less than 80% of AMI.

Chapter 40b

Chapter 40B is a state statute that encourages the production of affordable housing in communities throughout Massachusetts, particularly in towns where less than 10% of the housing is affordable. In communities below the 10% minimum, Chapter 40B provides eligible developers the ability to supersede local zoning if 20-25% of units in a development are Affordable. Foxborough has reached the state goal of 10% affordable housing, so it has “safe harbor” and is able to retain a greater degree of local control over development.

Housing Production Plan Requirements

As part of Chapter 40B, the state asks every community to develop a Housing Production Plan, which is a proactive strategy for communities to plan for and guide development of housing. For some towns, an HPP can offer a path towards safe harbor. Because Foxborough already has safe harbor, an HPP is an opportunity for the town to proactively work towards identifying and meeting its housing needs. An HPP consists of the following components:

1

A housing needs and demand assessment that considers the community’s demographics, housing supply, and how well the housing meets the needs of residents.

2

An analysis of regulatory and non-regulatory constraints on affordable housing development

3

A Housing vision and goals, including a numerical annual housing production goal and the identification of specific sites where the Town will encourage residential development

4

Strategies for working towards goals and an implementation plan