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12.3.18 Housing Watch: Projects on the Horizon in Gloucester

The City of Gloucester has a number of housing projects on the horizon as the community works to meet the goals of their 2017 Housing Production Plan which calls for 434 multi-bedroom housing units and 192 new single-family units by 2020 to meet projected demands. Forthcoming projects include the conversion of the former Cameron’s property into 30 affordable housing units, a 200-unit rental housing complex to be built as part of the Fuller School redevelopment project, and the conversion of the current Cape Ann YMCA into 50 units of affordable housing on Middle Street.

More on these projects from the Gloucester Daily Times.


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11.28.18 Housing Watch: Salem to Hold Public Hearing on Proposal to Amend & Expand City's Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) Zones

The Salem City Council will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, November 29th at 6:30 P.M. in the City Council Chambers, Second Floor, Salem City Hall, 93 Washington Street, for all persons interested in Mayor Kim Driscoll's proposed Amendment to the existing Downtown Salem Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) Zone (program area) and Plan as originally approved by the Salem City Council and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development in 2017.

HDIP is a state-enabled program per M.G.L. Chapter 40V that incentivizes the development of market-rate housing in a program area established by an eligible municipality. The amendment to this HDIP Zone shall be expanded to include all parcels within the Central Development (B5) Zoning District, the adjacent North River Canal Corridor Zoning District and three additional parcels, specifically 5 Broad Street, 17 Hawthorne Boulevard, and 150 Federal Street.

According to Mayor Driscoll, the zones and districts included in this proposal were chosen due to the high costs associated with redevelopment as a result of prior use and contamination in the B5 Central Development business zone and North River Canal Corridor district. Additionally, the three specific properties identified in the proposal already have market-rate housing projects under consideration and two of the three are somewhat constrained by the historic district overlays.

The original HDIP Zone & Plan is available here and the proposed amendment is available here (Pages 65-73). 

The official Meeting Notice & Agenda for Thursday's Public Hearing is avaialble here.


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11.26.18 National News: Bipartisan Call for Overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program

Ahead of the November 30th deadline for the National Flood Insurance Program's short-term extension, former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrators from the Bush and Obama Administrations called for a complete overhaul of NFIP, suggesting that Congress should begin reforming NFIP by "tying the program's spending to progess".USA Today

Such reforms would include enhanced mapping, the creation of a revolving low-interest loan fund program, and new requirements such as enhanced mapping, seller disclosure of flood vulnerability, and updated building codes and standards. 

Read more on these recommendations for long-term NFIP reform in their USA Today Op-Ed.

NFIP Reform

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11.20.18 Local News: US Treasury to Scrutinize All-Cash Home Sales in Boston

The US Treasury Department has added Suffolk and Middlesex Counties to a program that requires people who buy homes with cash through shell companies to share their name with the government. It’s a bid to combat money laundering in high-end real estate, which critics say is becoming increasingly popular with buyers who can hide their identity behind a limited liability company or other shell entity.

More from The Boston Globe.


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11.19.18 National News: NSAR Leadership Meets with Congressman Seth Moulton to Discuss Legislative Priorities in Congress

Congressman Seth Moulton met today with NSAR's leadership at the Front Street Coffeehouse in Salem to discuss our federal legislative priorities in Congress for the real estate industry including the long-term re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program and the extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Exclusion in any forthcoming tax legislation.


Pictured (L to R): President-Elect Henry Pizzo, Government Affairs Committee Chair Adeline Matton, Federal Political Coordinator Eileen Jonah-Daly, Incoming MAR Government Affairs Committee Chair Amy Wallick, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-Salem), CEO Susan Kline & President Jan Pellegrini

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11.15.18 Local News: Airbnb Sues Boston to Halt Regulations; Company Claims New Rules Violate Constitutional Rights

Airbnb filed suit against the city of Boston Tuesday seeking to block officials from implementing new regulations on short-term rentals set to take effect January 1, claiming the rules illegally require the company to turn over private host information and to bar investors from listing multiple units.

In its lawsuit, Airbnb portrays itself as merely a matchmaker, a company connecting willing hosts and renters for a fee based on the rental price. The suit claims Airbnb’s free speech rights are violated by the city’s regulations requiring the company to turn over information about hosts and to enforce limits on who can rent a unit and how often. The city’s regulations would assess a $300 fine per day per infraction by short-term rental platforms.

More from Commonwealth Magazine


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