Housing Medford 2021 Policy Agenda
Housing Medford has articulated the following policy agenda for 2021. Housing Medford will work with its partners, allies and elected officials to explore and implement this policy agenda in the coming year. Through all of its work, Housing Medford also seeks to hear more voices and encourage broad engagement of the community.
- Create a Medford Affordable Housing Trust, which would allow Medford to collect funds from existing sources like Medford’s Community Preservation Act (CPA) as well as potential future sources like those described in #8 below, put them into a dedicated trust fund, and use these funds for local initiatives to create and preserve affordable housing.
- Advocate for a full time Affordable Housing staff position within the Medford City government.
- Adopt the Housing Production Plan prepared in 2020 to serve as the guide for creating affordable housing and meeting Medford’s housing needs in the future.
- Support housing-friendly policies through the Master Plan and Zoning revision initiatives currently in process.
- Support broad and effective communication by the City and partner agencies about housing resources and initiatives.
- Prioritize publicly-owned land for affordable housing, such as the three parcels abutting City Hall, and explore further acquisition of land for this purpose.
- Explore the potential to create additional sources of funding for affordable housing to be used by an Affordable Housing Trust or community development partners, such as linkage fees, condo conversion fee, Inclusionary Zoning fees (in lieu of developing affordable units on a particular site), CDBG funds, HOME funds, PILOT agreement, or a short-term rental property tax, or Real Estate Transfer Fee.
- Expand partnerships with nonprofit organizations to develop affordable housing, provide housing services, and advocate for low income housing needs in Medford through Medford Community Housing, the Medford Housing Authority, and regional nonprofit developers and advocacy organizations.
- Explore options to overcome barriers to residents using Section 8 Vouchers or accessing existing affordable housing units in Medford, including landlord education, tenant education and housing search resources, and the potential adoption of high cost area payment standards for Section 8 vouchers.
- Identify and address the needs of people in Medford who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of housing instability.
- Expand access to first-time homebuyer programs offered by MHP and MassHousing through engaging with Medford lenders, non-profits, and joining regional efforts with the City of Malden, and increasing local funding.
- Work to prevent displacement of current Medford residents through foreclosure prevention and tenant rights initiatives.
- Encourage local support for statewide initiatives such as housing production bills, lifting statewide ban on rent control and enabling legislation to allow revenue generation, among others.