City Looking into Affordable Housing ‘Micro-Units’

As the federal government gets out of the housing business, the DeMaria administration is working on housing affordability in the City of Everett. These units are a vital safety net for the most vulnerable residents.

Mayor DeMaria stated, “We must encourage the redevelopment of existing under-utilized properties into smaller residential units to ensure that the residents of Everett can continue to live here, in the community they know and love, even as rents rise here and throughout the Greater Boston region.”

The Mayor looks to work with City and State officials to institute a smart zoning policy, which will be the catalyst for building a new wave of affordable housing that would not require a federal susbsidy. This smart zoning includes allowing developers to build smaller “micro-units” without requiring two parking spaces per bedroom.

These developments are efficient, much less costly to build, and can be much more affordable for residents. “Micro-units” are compact, hyper-efficient and affordable apartments meant for anyone who wants to live in a dense urban neighborhood at an affordable price.

These units are built near public transit for residents who typically don’t own cars and get around primarily on foot, bike, and public transit. The Mayor highlighted in his Inaugural Address that the City will require developers who do not provide parking to have car and bike-sharing programs onsite or nearby.

Today, city residents can take advantage of Zip Car, Touro, Hubway, Ofo, Zagster and Lime Bike. Other developer requirements could include discounted T-passes for residents, shuttle service, and participation in a transportation management service.

Recently, the Mayor announced a project with the Neighborhood Developers to develop senior housing at the old St. Therese’s Church on Broadway.  The project, which is currently making its way through the permitting process, will provide up to 77 units of affordable housing for seniors aged 62 and older. seventy percent of those units will be reserved for qualified Everett residents.

The DeMaria administration continues to meet with affordable housing developers and finance agencies to spur the development of affordable housing for our workforce, and for our seniors.

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