Short Takes from the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust

Along with other business, members of the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT, or the ‘Housing Trust’) voted at their April 26 meeting to support Articles 23 to26 at the upcoming Annual Town Meeting on May 15. With the approval of the Trust, Chair Christina Wilgren was instructed to speak in favor of the four articles at the meeting.

Articles 23 and 24 pertain to Zoning Bylaw amendments that will allow Accessory Dwelling Units and spell out the conditions under which those ADUs will be permitted. Articles 25 and 26 are Zoning Bylaw amendments relating to establishing an “Assisted Living Overlay District.” Article 26 contains the map showing the proposed district along South Road.

Full details on these articles are in the Warrant for the Town Meeting, which will be delivered to residents next week.  Look for it in your mailbox.

Apply for Small Grant Assistance Program by May 3

In other business, Bedford’s Economic Development Director Alyssa Sandoval reported that May 3 is the deadline for applications for the Small Grant Assistance Program, which awards up to $4,000 to low to moderate-income home Bedford homeowners to make necessary repairs to their homes for safety and health reasons. The Trust will review applications at their June meeting and awards will be made later in June. Here is the link to the application: https://www.bedfordma.gov/municipal-affordable-housing-trust.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program Update

The Trust heard an update on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program from Liz Valenta, Regional Housing Services Office (RHSO), which administers the program. The program is tapering off but assistance can be given until August 1. The program filled an immediate need, which was to prevent residents from being evicted during the time of severe financial distress caused by the pandemic. RHSO is now redirecting rental assistance applications to state programs such as MetroHousing Boston. The Trust voted to end the Emergency Assistance Rental Program by August 1 but will accept applications until a June 10 deadline.  If renters need help in applying for state programs, RHSO will provide assistance. https://www.rhsohousing.org/bedford/urgent-alerts/covid-19-resources-bedford-households

Affordable Housing Opportunities

Chair Wilgren noted two affordable housing opportunities: one is a Habitat for Humanity duplex that is available in Concord. Anyone in area towns may apply. https://www.bedfordma.gov/home/news/affordable-home-ownership-opportunity

Coming up on May 4: Six affordable units at the Village at Bedford Woods, located on the Middlesex Turnpike.  Watch for this announcement!

Upcoming Meetings: Joint Housing Meeting on June 28; Housing Trust meeting is June 14

Taking a longer-range view, Chair Wilgren proposed a joint meeting of the Bedford Housing Partnership and the Housing Trust to focus on affordable housing.  She urged members to review the March 2019 Bedford Housing Study, in preparation.  This meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m.  Zoom link will be available prior to the meeting.  The next regular meeting of the Trust is set for June 14 at 5:30 p.m. All meetings are recorded and may be accessed via Bedford TV.

Watch the April 26 Municipal Affordable Housing Trust meeting


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