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40B technical assistance and consulting

Along with the other state housing subsidizing organizations – DHCD, MassHousing, and MassDevelopment – MHP approaches technical assistance to cities and towns as a supporter of appropriate lowor moderate-income housing development. As a result, this handbook promotes a constructive view of the comprehensive permit process. It encourages ZBAs to carefully review a project’s impact and negotiate for the best developments they can get for their communities. MHP is acutely aware that managing the comprehensive permit process can be challenging for ZBAs and their administrative staff. Low- or moderate-income housing often sparks objections from residential and non-residential neighbors, and in most cases the proposed housing involves a higher density than the development pattern found in surrounding neighborhoods. However, communities have largely controlled the make-up of their population by the choices they have made to control housing growth. Introducing different types of housing opens doors to a more diverse population, and sometimes it is fear of difference that triggers opposition. Nevertheless, the statute clearly intends to allow low- or moderate-income housing in places where it otherwise would not be built. Stages of a Chapter 40B Project There are five “stages” for every Chapter 40B development. They include: „ Project Eligibility (Site Approval) (Subsidizing Agency) „ Comprehensive Permit Process (ZBA, and if appealed, Housing Appeals Committee) „ Final Approval (Subsidizing Agency) „ Construction and Occupancy (Subsidizing Agency) „ Post-Occupancy Oversight (Subsidizing Agency)