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Salem’s Five-Year Consolidate Plan and Action Plans identified the creation and preservation of affordable housing as the highest community development priority for the City. In 2003, the City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a housing developer which resulted in a monetary contribution in 2005 designated for affordable housing activities. The Salem City Council established the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) in October of 2006 to use these funds to provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the City of Salem for the benefit of low- and moderate-income households. To that end, the AHTF leverages other public and private money for affordable housing projects and serves as an advisory group to the Salem City Council, Planning Board, and Zoning Board.
The city ordinance establishing the Affordable Housing Trust Fund states that the Board of Trustees shall be composed of twelve members, including the Mayor and two members of the City Council. The members of the Board possess a wide breath and depth of housing and community development knowledge. The Board is made up of Salem residents with a wide range of expertise from affordable housing policy & planning to real estate, law, and women’s advocacy.
The following long-term goals guide the actions of the Trust:
- Produce affordable housing units through rehabilitation of existing units and new construction.
- Preserve existing affordable housing
- Advocate and build support for affordable housing projects
- Recommend policy changes that promote affordable housing strategies and support affordable housing initiatives