Framingham’s Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments for Affordable Housing and Workforce Housing Requirements
On October 6, 2022, the Framingham City Council (“Council”) voted to refer proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance set forth in ORDER 2022-084-001 to the Planning Board for readvertisement and hearing, which is scheduled for November 17, 2022. On September 20, 2022, the Framingham City Council approved a proposed increase in affordable housing requirements with certain revisions, following the Planning & Zoning Subcommittee’s favorable recommendation to the full Council.
The Planning & Zoning Subcommittee’s approved zoning amendments would apply to affordable and workforce housing requirements for all multifamily units in the city, including mixed-use and cluster development projects proposing to construct ten units or more.
The amendment would require that 3% of the total project units be designated as 60% Area Median Income (“AMI”) to be subsidized by the developer and deeded as such and that 12% of the total units built per project be designated as government subsidized 80% AMI. The amendment also increased workforce housing requirements to 3%, where it did not previously exist.
At the November 17, 2022 hearing, the Planning Board will consider the Council’s proposed revisions, which include:
- Designating 3% of projects as 60% – 120% (AMI);
- Deleting all references in the ordinances to payment in lieu;
- Increasing affordable housing units to 15%, phased in annually, until the increase to a total of 15% is met.
Currently, the City requires that new projects include at least 10% affordable housing, which accommodates those who earn 80% AMI. The City, despite exceeding the minimum threshold of affordable housing of 10% of a communities’ housing stock required under the 1969 Comprehensive Permit Act, M.G.L. c. 40B, has increased the affordability requirement insisting that more can be done to increase the availability and affordability of housing options in Framingham. It remains to be seen how this will impact the viability of housing and mixed-use projects in the City moving forward and whether it will achieve the stated goals of increasing the amount of affordable units in Framingham.