As part of this week’s Housing Choice Initiative announcement from the Baker Administration, the City of Salem has been selected to receive a $59,000 housing planning grant from MassHousing.
The funds will be used to begin to implement the vision of the City’s recent Imagine Salem planning process by studying neighborhood mixed-use zoning, conducting a citywide public engagement campaign around affordable housing needs, and advancing a new inclusionary zoning ordinance. This project will support Salem’s efforts to meet new housing demand, estimated by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, of 2,700 new housing units by the year 2030.
“I am very pleased that the administration has selected Salem for one of their housing planning grant awards,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “The need to improve our housing supply and better address affordability is very real. The demand for new housing in Salem isn’t just about meeting the needs of people who want to move here. It’s about meeting the needs of our neighbors living here now. It includes the Salem senior who wants to stay here but downsize to a smaller place with single-floor living, the young adult who grew up here and poured your coffee this morning or your beer the night before, the young couple renting a one-bedroom apartment, who want to have kids and stay right here in Salem, or the family that’s worked hard, saved enough to buy and is already invested in and part of our community.”
Mayor Driscoll recently reconvened the City’s dormant Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board with a renewed focus on investigating policy changes that might help remedy housing challenges facing the community.
“We want folks to be able to start here and stay here,” added Mayor Driscoll. “Almost half of all Salem residents are currently paying nearly one-third or higher of their income on housing. These are our neighbors and they – rightly – deserve our focus and support. I want to thank Mass Housing, Executive Director Crystal Kornegay, Governor Baker, and their staff for recognizing the importance of this issue and for supporting local efforts to improve our communities and help our residents.”