Listed below are some of the more recent planning initiatives involving affordable housing in the City of Newton:
Consolidated Plan for FY11-15
In 2010, the City of Newton submitted its five-year Consolidated Plan for FY10-15 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Consolidated Plan provides a comprehensive analysis of community needs and identifies the strategies that will be undertaken to address those needs. The Plan discusses at length the need for more affordable housing in the city and outlines a host of strategies for creating additional housing units. The Consolidated Plan helps create a vision for achieving more diversity in Newton and a higher quality of life for the community’s lower-income residents.
Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
As a recipient of federal funds for affordable housing, the City of Newton is required to affirmatively further fair housing in its programs and policies and its commitments of resources. Fair housing planning consists of three components: (1) conducting an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice or an “AI”, (2) identifying actions to eliminate any identified impediments, and (3) maintaining records that identify the City’s efforts to affirmatively further fair housing.
The City’s Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice is a comprehensive review and evaluation of municipal housing, economic and transportation conditions, as well as public and private sector policies that affect housing choices and opportunities in Newton. The City’s Fair Housing Task Force (now the Fair Housing Committee) has also developed a Fair Housing Action Plan, which was completed in 2008. The Fair Housing Action Plan identifies specific actions and implementation strategies to address the obstacles to fair housing choice identified in the Analysis of Impediments.
Newton Comprehensive Plan
The Newton Comprehensive Plan provides a roadmap to planning in the City. Comprised of nine elements (land use, transportation, housing, economic development, open space and recreation, natural resources, cultural resources and facilities and services), the intent of the Plan is to guide community actions now and in the future. Envisioned as a “dynamic” instrument, the Plan is meant to be flexible so that strategies can change based on ongoing planning and implementation efforts.
Community Preservation Plan
The Community Housing section of the Community Preservation Plan provides a summary of the housing goals for Newton. Community Preservation funds are often used in conjunction with the City’s CDBG and HOME funds to provide the underwriting necessary to make housing affordable.