Canton's housing reports show increasing home prices and population growth, indicating a continuing need to provide and plan for a diversity of housing types and affordability options. Current housing planning includes researching creating a regional housing services office, creating a local municipal affordable housing trust or fair housing committee, and housing relief for residents impacted by COVID-19 economically.
Municipal Affordable Housing Trust
Many Canton residents are paying too much for housing. Deed restricted affordable housing preserves local development controls, and long-term it is at risk. A Canton Housing Trust could be part of the plan, as we currently have no mechanism to protect against expiring restrictions. Housing trust funds were first developed in the 1970s and became more common in the 1980s and 1990s. In Massachusetts, it was after the passage of the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) statute, M.G.L. Chapter 44, Section 55c, in 2005 that cities and towns began to more actively create housing trust funds. As of 2019, over 110 communities in the state have a local affordable housing trust fund (and almost 80% of those communities also have adopted the Community Preservation Act).
Canton needs a proactive plan, sources of funding, legal authority, and dedicated expertise to address its local affordable housing needs. A municipal affordable housing trust is proposed to be created at the annual town meeting in 2021 (Article 32). Its two main goals would be to preserve Canton's current inventory of deed-restricted affordable housing and preserve our overall percentage of affordable units as the community grows through managed development.
For more information on Canton's proposed municipal housing trust, click here.
For more information on municipal housing trusts generally, click here.