Manchester Affordable Housing and the DPW Yard


To the Editor,

There is a strong consensus for the need of affordable housing.  If we reach 10 percent, it would free us from future 40B projects.  However, I am very concerned about ideas for the DPW site.

The thought has been to entice a developer with enough market rate housing and other concessions to make it affordable to the town with only a small amount of affordable housing included.  

Doing this at the DPW site and future sites would take us a long time to reach 10 percent with a substantial increase in the town's population.  At some point, it would result in the expansion of town services regarding water and sewage treatment, schools, and fire protection, among others.  According to recent surveys, this goes against two other consensus items:  Keeping the town small and affordable.

If we are going to justify the expense of relocating the DPW yard, we need to use the site for 100 percent affordable housing, town owned and administered.  We have already done it with The Plains and Newport Park.  We can do it here, even if larger than those two together.  It could be done in partnership with the North Shore Community Development Coalition which worked so well with the acquisition of the Powder House Lane apartments.  This, combined with the purchase of units scattered throughout the town, as they become on the market, could get us to 10 percent in the very near term and free us from future 40B threats.  An example of this would be the four loft units proposed for the corner of Tappan and Sea Streets.  

There would be a high initial cost of 100 percent affordable housing for the DPW site, but substantial future savings, thus keeping Manchester small and affordable.

George P. Smith

Masconomo Street

george p. smith, town services, dpw, economic inequality, affordable housing, manchester, north shore community development coalition, powder house lane