Back To Listing

Project Eligibility MassHousing

Long before the ZBA receives a comprehensive per­mit application, the community knows it is coming be­cause the developer has to comply with a state-imposed pre-qualification process that includes notification to the Chief Elected Official (usually the mayor or board of selectmen). The Chapter 40B regulations prescribe the process that developers must follow in order to pursue a comprehensive permit. Unless it satisfies the regulatory prerequisites, a developer does not have standing to apply for a comprehensive permit and the ZBA should not grant one. Among the prerequisites: evidence that the developer is an eligible organiza­tion and a housing Subsidizing Agency has found the project to be “fundable.” The developer must have site control, too. The mechanism for meeting these and other pre-qualification requirements is known as a Project Eligibility (PE) determination, sometimes called Site Approval. Authority to make a PE determination lies exclusively with the agencies that administer housing subsidy programs: in most cases, MassHousing, MHP, DHCD, or MassDevelopment. PE matters to the developer, but it also matters to the ZBA because a PE determination establishes some critically important presumptions in favor of the project.