Housing

NEWS

Affordable Set Aside Percentage Increased: Watertown's affordable set-aside percentage for private residential development projects that create 6 or more units or more than 5 lots was has changed. The set-aside has increased from 12.5% to 15.0%, and the affordability is now in two parts. Click here (PDF) to see the Town Council approved zoning text.

Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Services available: Watertown partners with Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services, Inc. (CNAHS) to provide foreclosure prevention counseling services to Watertown residents. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, call CNAHS at 617-491-1545.

FY2019 Annual Action Plan (PDF): The Housing Partnership approved Watertown's Housing-related FY2019 Annual Action Plan at a meeting on February 20, 2018.

Revised Citizen Participation Plan (PDF): The Citizen Participation Plan for the Annual Action Plan and Consolidated Plan.

Fair Housing: State and Federal laws require municipalities and private entities to take steps to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. Click here (PDF) to see a training handout on this topic specifically designed for municipal Boards, Commissions and staff.

New Affordable Rentals:  Elan/Union Market on Arsenal Street has begun taking applications for a lottery.  35 Affordable rental units will be available at households with incomes at or below 80% AMI.  Click here for the information.

Watertown Mews:  Watertown Mews is adding to its wait list.  Click here for more information.

Affordable Home Ownership Lottery:  1521 Beacon Street, Newton, MA.  Affordable 3-bedroom condos for sale.  Priced for 80% Area Median Income and 65% Area Median Income.  Click here for more information.

Hearing Notice:  State's Department of Housing and Community Development is holding a public hearing on June 14, 2018 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM on has prepared the Draft FFY 2018 One-Year Action Plan.  The Plan covers the Community Development Block Grant, the HOME Investment Partnership, the Emergency Solutions Grant, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and the Housing Trust Fund.  Click here for a link to the draft Plan, which is subject to a 30-day comment period beginning May 25, 2018, and ending June 25, 2018.

About Us

The Planning Office is charged with overseeing the Town's Affordable Housing Requirements (section 5.07 of the Watertown Zoning Ordinance), administering the HOME Investment Partnership Program funds, providing staff support to the Watertown Housing Partnership, and coordinating other housing-related projects and programs.

To learn more about the Town's Affordable Housing Requirements, download this explanatory guide (PDF).

The WestMetro HOME Consortium

The WestMetro HOME Consortium provides funding and technical assistance to its 14 member communities to support local and regional affordable housing goals. In addition to Watertown, the HOME Consortium communities include Newton (lead member), Bedford, Belmont, Brookline, Concord, Framingham, Lexington, Lincoln, Natick, Needham, Sudbury, Waltham, and Wayland.

Since 1992, the Consortium has provided grants and loans of HOME funds to for-and non-profit developers and directly to low-income households to create over 550 units of affordable housing within the Consortium member communities.

HOME Program Reports:

West Metro HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan

St. Joseph Hall

2014 HOME Project: St. Joseph Hall

Housing Production Plan

The Town, MetroWest Collaborative Development, Inc., and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council worked in 2013 to develop a Housing Production Plan funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Program and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Priority Development Fund.

What is a Housing Production Plan?

A “Housing Production Plan” is a document that is approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development and includes the following elements:

  1. An assessment of our community's housing needs based on an understanding of population trends and regional growth factors
  2. A numerical goal of units to produce annually
  3. An appropriate mix of housing types
  4. Steps for meeting our goals

Housing Resources:

Watertown works closely with Metro West Collaborative Development, a private, non-profit located at 79-B Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02458 to develop affordable housing. To learn more about their affordable housing programs, visit the MWCD website.

Also available is the Watertown 2015 Community Resource Directory (PDF).