6 Fairgrounds Workforce Housing


Town Affordable Housing Efforts 



Several efforts have been under way on behalf of the Town in order to help reach the 10% affordable housing mandate by the state. All towns within the Commonwealth must have 10% of their year-round housing stock be affordable to households earning 80% of Area Medium Income or less. Nantucket is presently at 2.5% toward the 10% requirement. Of the 490 units Nantucket is required to have at 80% AMI or less affordability, we are presently at 121 units.

The first effort to address this deficiency centers around developing rental affordable housing on Town-owned land at 6 Fairgrounds Road (adjacent to the police / municipal building and site for the new fire station). Voters at Town Meeting have, on several occasions including again at the 2015 Annual Town Meeting ("ATM"), affirmed their desire to see affordable housing developed in this location for the workforce and Town employees. A workgroup is developing an RFP for a proposed 64 units of rental apartments which is intended to be issued this fall. Additional projects planned for for this site include approximately 20 single family residences and seasonal dormitory style housing for approximately 50 seasonal employees.

The second initiative has been the development of an updated Housing Production Plan ("HPP") for Nantucket, lead by the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Every community in the state is required to have an HPP and to update it every five years. Nantucket's last HPP was certified in 2009. An HPP is important for two principle reasons: 1) it serves as a roadmap for how the community plans to address its affordable housing needs, and 2) when it is certified it lowers the threshold requirement to reach Safe Harbor from unfriendly 40B developments. For example, if the Town had a certified HPP in place when the 106 Surfside project came along AND the Town had been making progress at the rate of 25 affordable units a year (under the Commonwealth's criteria), then the ZBA would be in position to deny a comprehensive permit to the project under the Safe Harbor provisions. Until the Town has reached Safe Harbor, we are susceptible to unfriendly 40B projects. A draft for adoption by the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen has been prepared by Judi Barrett of RKG Associates in conjunction with the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The third principle initiative underway has been advancing a Home Rule Petition in support of a "Housing Bank" approved overwhelmingly by the voters at the 2016 Annual Town Meeting. Article 82 (at ATM) was introduced as House Bill 4317 by Rep. Tim Madden and Sen. Dan Wolf in this session. While there was limited time in which to get this passed in this session, the bill made significant progress following the testimony of 11 island representatives, including Rep. Madden, in front of the Joint Committee on Municipalities & Regional Government. It ultimately made it to the Committee on Bills in Third Reading before this legislative session ended. The Bill will be reintroduced at the start of the 190th General Court in January.
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For questions or feedback, please contact Tucker Holland at tholland@nantucket-ma.gov

Workforce Affordable Housing Review Committee Meetings

Important Documents