Sustainable Communities-funded Fair Housing Projects

Project Background

MAPC secured funding through the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant to prepare a Regional Housing Plan and a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing.

Both projects will commence in 2011. An advisory board comprising Sustainable Communities Consortium members and other key stakeholders – including the Affordable Housing Caucus and the Fair Housing Caucus – will guide this effort.

South Shore HOME Consortium Regional Fair Housing Plan

A Regional Fair Housing Plan (FHP) is being developed for the Quincy HOME Consortium d/b/a/ South Shore HOME Consortium (SSHC), which includes the municipalities of Braintree, Holbrook, Milton and Weymouth.

The overall goals of the FHP are to: provide an understanding of fair housing obligation and the needs of protected classes; to identify impediments to fair housing choice through an analysis of public and private sector policies and activities; and to provide a framework to public and private sector partners that enables them to take the lead in affirmatively furthering fair housing by initiating dialogue and institutionalizing fair housing best practices and policies. Through research and analysis of the characteristics of the region, fair housing complaints reported, and public and private sector impediments to fair housing, the FHP proposes a five-year action plan that will sustain current efforts to further fair housing in the Consortium municipalities.

Regional Housing Plan (RHP)

Why it’s important

MetroFuture includes detailed population and housing projections for the region, but does not include the level of detail necessary to constitute a complete housing needs assessment and plan, which could serve as a roadmap to guide housing development and policy within the region over the next two decades. The Regional Housing Plan will help fill those gaps.

MAPC’s role

MAPC will prepare a Regional Housing Plan that will build on the extensive data collection, analysis, and planning conducted by other Consortium members, including the Greater Boston Housing Report Card, the City of Boston Analysis of Impediments, the Commonwealth’s Consolidated Plan 2010 – 2014 and Analysis of Impediments, and the socioeconomic projections that MAPC recently developed for the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan.

The RHP will consist of a regional housing needs assessment, regional growth report, and regional housing action plan. Specifically, the RHP will:

  • describe the nature and extent of the region’s unmet housing needs and evolving challenges based on an assessment of current market conditions, existing affordable housing, patterns of foreclosure, and combined housing and transportation costs;
  • develop an inventory of existing affordable housing in the region;
  • determine the suitability of existing affordable housing relative to need, opportunity areas, and transportation-efficient locations and articulate alternatives that would better meet needs and serve these locations;
  • analyze the relative success of local housing productions plans;
  • develop specific actions, including policy and programmatic changes at the state, regional, and local levels that are needed in order to meet needs in preferable areas; and
  • build a constituency to advocate for these specific actions.

Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (AI)

Why it’s important

The Commonwealth, City of Boston, and a number of other jurisdictions in Metro Boston have Analyses of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AIs) and implementation strategies in place, but there is no comprehensive regional analysis.

MAPC’s role

MAPC will prepare a regional AI to provide critical information and specific actions for policy makers, housing practitioners, and the general public to build public support for fair housing efforts across jurisdictions.

The AI will consist of a report and a regional action plan. Together, both components will provide:

  • an overview of demographic and housing market conditions;
  • an analysis of access to “high opportunity areas” in the region;
  • an overview of jurisdictional and regional issues;
  • a regional fair housing conditions profile that includes how communities address fair housing laws, policies, and practices and complaints;
  • an assessment of how fair housing choice was affected by the real estate bubble and subsequent market crash, foreclosure epidemic, and credit crisis;
  • a description and discussion of impediments encountered by protected classes, including the impact of zoning, transportation, water supply, and employment;
  • an outline of fair housing-related goals, objectives, and implementation strategies;
  • identify specific activities and entities, particularly within state and local government, to address impediments; and
  • include educational activities and recommendations for additional testing, enforcement, and compliance.