Affordable Housing Needs and Strategy

Housing Needs Assessment

This study was conducted by the Housing and Planning Consultant hired by the Town to assist in researching the affordable housing needs that are not being met. It is an integral part of the Housing Production Plan. The assessment report below is extracted from the Housing Production Plan.

The Housing Needs Assessment presents an overview of demographic, economic, and housing characteristics and trends for the Town of Weston, identifying priority housing needs and providing the context within which a responsive set of strategies will be developed to address these needs and meet production goals.

Housing Production Goals

The number of affordable housing units needed is based upon the number of year-round housing units as determined by the national census. The state requires that 10 percent of the total housing stock is set aside as affordable (for incomes meeting 80 percent of the area mean income range as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development).  Weston has 3,952 housing units in total with 149 set aside as affordable, which means that 3.77 percent of Weston's housing stock is affordable. In order to meet the state-required 10 percent, Weston will need to produce 246 affordable housing units. Under the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) guidelines, the annual production for Weston is approximately 20 units. The production goals report below is extracted from the draft Housing Production Plan.

Housing Strategies

The housing strategies are derived primarily from the priority housing needs, research on development opportunities, interviews and meetings as part of the planning process, existing local initiatives and resources, and the experience of other comparable localities in the area and throughout the Commonwealth. These are grouped according to three specific strategic goals:
  1. Promote greater local capacity to produce affordable housing
  2. Amend zoning to promote affordable housing and smart growth development
  3. Partner with developers to leverage other public and private resources
The strategies are also categorized according to priority and also reflect state guidelines that require communities to address all of the following major categories of strategies to the greatest extent applicable:
  • Identification of zoning districts or geographic areas in which the municipality proposes to modify current regulations for the purposes of creating affordable housing developments to meet its housing production goal; 
  • Identification of specific sites for which the municipality will encourage the filing of comprehensive permit projects;
  • Characteristics of proposed residential or mixed-use developments that would be preferred by the municipality;
  • Municipally owned parcels for which the municipality commits to issue requests for proposals to develop affordable housing;
  • Participation in regional collaborations addressing housing development
A major goal of Weston's plan is not only to strive to meet annual housing production goals and eventually the state's 10 percent affordability threshold but to also serve the range of local needs. The strategies report below is extracted from the draft Housing Production Plan.