Housing

NEWS

Affordable Set Aside Percentage Increased: Watertown's affordable set-aside percentage for private residential development projects that create 6 or more units or more than 5 lots was has changed. The set-aside has increased from 12.5% to 15.0%, and the affordability is now in two parts. Click here (PDF) to see the Town Council approved zoning text.

Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Services available: Watertown partners with Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services, Inc. (CNAHS) to provide foreclosure prevention counseling services to Watertown residents. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, call CNAHS at 617-491-1545.

Shelter Directory:  Click here to see a list of shelters for men, women, families and youth as produced by Health Care Without Walls, a charitable organization based in Wellesley, MA.

Metro West Collaborative Housing Clinics:  MWCD offers housing clinics on filling out applications, information on new vacancies, and the overall affordable housing process.  Click here for the flyer.

Approved FY2020 Annual Action Plan as approved by the Housing Partnership on February 19, 2019.

Revised Citizen Participation Plan (PDF): The Citizen Participation Plan for the Annual Action Plan and Consolidated Plan.

Fair Housing: State and Federal laws require municipalities and private entities to take steps to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. Click here (PDF) to see a training handout on this topic specifically designed for municipal Boards, Commissions and staff.

Karina Milchman, Chief Housing Planner with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, gave a presentation on housing issues to the Housing Partnership on October 23, 2018. Click here to see the slides.

The Town Council Committee on Human Services is exploring affordable housing programs.  Click here to see a PowerPoint presentation on Accessory Dwelling Units by James Freas, Deputy Director, Newton Department of Planning & Development.  Click here to see Waltham's 2018 Application for Security Deposit Assistance.

New Affordable Unit Lottery

Click here for an informational flyer about a new lottery for affordable apartments at 28 Austin Street, Newton.  The Public Information Session will be held on 6/25/19 at Newton City Hall.  Completed applications are due no later than 2:00 PM on 7/19/19.  Lottery will be held on 8/7/19.

About Us

The Planning Office is charged with overseeing the Town's Affordable Housing Requirements (section 5.07 of the Watertown Zoning Ordinance), administering the HOME Investment Partnership Program funds, providing staff support to the Watertown Housing Partnership, and coordinating other housing-related projects and programs.

To learn more about the Town's Affordable Housing Requirements, download this explanatory guide (PDF).

The WestMetro HOME Consortium

The WestMetro HOME Consortium provides funding and technical assistance to its 14 member communities to support local and regional affordable housing goals. In addition to Watertown, the HOME Consortium communities include Newton (lead member), Bedford, Belmont, Brookline, Concord, Framingham, Lexington, Lincoln, Natick, Needham, Sudbury, Waltham, and Wayland.

Since 1992, the Consortium has provided grants and loans of HOME funds to for-and non-profit developers and directly to low-income households to create over 550 units of affordable housing within the Consortium member communities.

HOME Program Reports:

West Metro HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan

St. Joseph Hall

2014 HOME Project: St. Joseph Hall

Housing Production Plan

The Town, MetroWest Collaborative Development, Inc., and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council worked in 2013 to develop a Housing Production Plan funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Program and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Priority Development Fund.

What is a Housing Production Plan?

A “Housing Production Plan” is a document that is approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development and includes the following elements:

  1. An assessment of our community's housing needs based on an understanding of population trends and regional growth factors
  2. A numerical goal of units to produce annually
  3. An appropriate mix of housing types
  4. Steps for meeting our goals

Housing Resources:

Watertown works closely with Metro West Collaborative Development, a private, non-profit located at 79-B Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02458 to develop affordable housing. To learn more about their affordable housing programs, visit the MWCD website.