Housing Production Plan Update 2021-2022
Housing Quincy is a community-driven process to plan for the future of housing. As Quincy experiences record amounts of new development, it is vital that the city remains a place where all can find affordable and safe housing. By producing this Housing Production Plan (HPP), the Quincy community can work together to set the direction of housing policy and development over the next five years.
About the Plan
Housing Quincy will meet all the requirements of a Housing Production Plan (HPP) and is an update to the last HPP completed in 2016. HPPs help communities understand their housing needs, set housing goals, and identify strategies to achieve them. Through this process, we will work to expand and diversify Quincy’s housing stock while also increasing affordability for people at a range of incomes. The City of Quincy, through the Department of Planning & Community Development, is undertaking this plan with the help of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency for the Greater Boston region.
This planning process is meant to engage people all across Quincy, especially groups that have been historically underrepresented by urban planning processes. This includes people of color, low-income residents, renters, those with limited English proficiency, and many others. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, public engagement will be conducted remotely in order to ensure maximum participation as well as safety. Digital engagement activities will replace traditional public forums and are meant to provide the same information while generating substantive feedback from participants.
Have questions? Want to get involved? Contact Emma Battaglia, Senior Housing & Land Use Planner at MAPC (email@example.com) or Sherry Zou, Housing Programs Manager at the City of Quincy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Housing Needs/Demand Assessment and Goal Setting
Development Constraints and Opportunity Analysis
Strategy Development and Deliverable Production
Plan Release and Adoption
WHAT IS A HOUSING PRODUCTION PLAN?
Housing Production Plans are a specific plan type defined under Massachusetts state law (MGL Chapter 40B) and regulated by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). To go into effect, the plan must be adopted by the City Council and Planning Board and approved by DHCD.
HPPs must include the following elements:
- Assessment of housing needs and demand
- Analysis of development constraints
- Identification of opportunity sites for new housing development
- Housing goals for the next five years, including numeric targets for new housing production
- Specific policies and programs that will help achieve housing goals
What is Affordable Housing?
When most people talk about housing affordability, they usually are referring to housing that works within their budget. When housing planners talk about “Affordable Housing” (with a capital “A” and “H”), they are referring to housing that by law can only be rented or sold to low-income households, and moderate-income households in some cases, without these households paying more than 30% of their income. A household is “housing cost-burdened” when it pays 30% or more of its income on housing costs. Paying this much for housing often means a household will face tough financial decisions and may not be able to afford other necessities such as food, medicine, and transportation.
Affordable Housing has restrictions on its deed that preserve affordability for decades or in perpetuity, ensuring that income-eligible households can stay in their communities. Historically, Affordable Housing was built by the government, but today it is typically built by nonprofit organizations using government subsidies. Market-rate developers also produce Affordable Housing units as required by local inclusionary zoning policies.
Eligibility to live in deed-restricted Affordable Housing is based on income status, which is determined by comparing a household’s total pre-tax income and the number of people in the household to the Area Median Income (AMI). AMI is the median income for households across the Greater Boston region, including Quincy, and is $120,800 for the year 2021. A household is considered “low-income” if its annual income is 80% or less of the AMI, which is $70,750 for a single person and $101,050 for a family of four.
Currently, 10% of Quincy’s housing stock is listed on the state’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) and the city meets the “safe harbor” criteria under MGL Chapter 40B. In municipalities with less than 10%, Chapter 40B allows eligible developers to supersede zoning and other local regulations if 20-25% of the units in the development are Affordable. Though Quincy has achieved safe harbor and is able to retain a greater degree of local control over development, it is still important to plan for housing, especially as it gets harder and harder for residents with lower incomes to afford to live in the community.
February 2022 QATV Appearance
On February 11, 2022, Emma Battaglia (Senior Housing & Land Use Planner at MAPC) and Sean Glennon (Quincy Community Development Director) appeared on QATV’s “Currently in Quincy” program to discuss Housing Quincy.
Winter 2021-2022 Engagement Insights
In December 2021 and January 2022, the City and MAPC conducted two virtual engagement events for Housing Quincy: a Zoom webinar held on December 16, and an online open house survey which was open from December 1 to January 17. This memo provides the results of the online open house and the high-level insights from data collected during this engagement.
Webinar: December 16, 2021
The City of Quincy and MAPC hosted a webinar on Thursday, December 16 to complement the online open house. The webinar was an opportunity for residents to meet the project team and directly ask questions about Housing Quincy. Participants also learned about topics covered in the online open house, including existing conditions data.