Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration
What is a Housing Production Plan?
In Massachusetts, Housing Production Plans (HPPs) are plans that help municipalities better understand local housing need and demand, development constraints and opportunities, and their vision for future Affordable Housing and sometimes market-rate housing.
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A home is considered affordable when it costs 30% or less of a household’s income and is deed-restricted to income-eligible low- or moderate-income residents. Affordable Housing has restrictions to preserve affordability for decades or in perpetuity, ensuring that income-eligible households can stay in their communities without having to make difficult financial decisions, such as skipping meals or doctor’s appointments to have enough money to pay for their homes. Without deed restrictions, housing costs can go up as markets rise, making homes that were once inexpensive now costly. Deed-restricted Affordable Housing protects communities from skyrocketing costs and related displacement.
Eligibility to live in deed-restricted Affordable Housing is based on household income and the number of people in the household, which is usually compared to the Metropolitan Area Median Income (AMI) calculated by the (HUD). The 2019 AMI for the Greater Boston region is $113,300. Under many Affordable Housing programs, households eligible for deed-restricted Affordable Housing must be at or below 80% of AMI. For a household of one, 80% AMI is $63,500; for a household of four, it is $89,200. Some Affordable Housing programs serve households with lower incomes.
Affordable Housing can take many forms, including public housing and private Affordable Housing, which is typically built by nonprofit developers or for-profit developers through mixed-income projects. All Affordable Housing requires subsidy, and usually this subsidy comes from the government. Today’s Affordable Housing developments usually require multiple subsidies from all levels of government, as well as private debt and foundation funding, in order to be built. In addition to government-subsidized Affordable Housing, some cities require market-rate developments to include Affordable Housing under laws often called “inclusionary zoning.”
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