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Affordable Housing Consulting Services and Apartments, 40B

Local Comment Period

After receiving a PE application, the Sub­sidizing Agency notifies the Chief Elect­ed Official and schedules a site visit. The notification letter starts the clock for a 30-day comment period for the city or town. At this point, the Chief Elected Official should post the notice and PE application on the community’s website and seek comments from municipal boards and departments. Making the documents available on the city or town website will ensure that interested residents can have access to the information so they can comment if they wish.

Although it may not be possible to coordinate the comments process, the Chief Elected Official should try to act as a clearinghouse for comments on the PE application. The comment period provides an opportunity for elected officials to lead a constructive conversation about Chapter 40B and organize a coherent response for the community. It is important to remember that Subsidizing Agencies want to encourage low- and moderate-income housing development, so it is unrealistic to expect them to is­sue a denial simply because the community objects to a proposed development. There are occasional exceptions, e.g., a Subsidizing Agency’s deference to a community that has taken significant steps to increase the supply of affordable housing. For most cities and towns, the most constructive approach is to focus on matters that clearly fall within the scope of a PE determination.