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Tenant Income Certifications for 40B

If a community does not meet one of the statutory tests described above, then “consistent with local needs” means balancing the regional need for affordable housing against local health, safety, open space, and site and building design concerns. These concerns must be valid, compelling, and documented. Over time, the HAC has established high standards for a ZBA to demonstrate consistency with local needs: demonstration of verifiable local concerns about the health and safety of residents of the proposed housing, the surrounding neighborhood, or the community as a whole; and serious building and site design deficiencies that cannot be rectified with conditions of approval; and establishment that the local requirements imposed by the ZBA are essential for protecting these public health, safety, design or environmental or open space concerns. These standards are very difficult to meet. If the HAC overturns the ZBA’s denial of the permit, the ZBA must then issue a permit to the applicant, subject to instructions in the HAC decision about conditions that may be contained in the permit. Thus, the ZBA loses any leverage it might have had to get a better development for the community.