40B is not the housing solution


To the Editor:

Yes, Martha’s Vineyard does have an affordable housing problem, but retaining 40B is not the solution to this distressing situation. Forty years after its enactment, Massachusetts has not improved its affordable housing situation. This poorly written law allows developers to bypass local zoning and conservation restrictions, as long as 20 to 25 percent of the units are deemed affordable.

Another requirement of the law imposes a 20 percent profit margin on developers, but the legislation lacks adequate oversight measures. Developers are allowed to pick their own auditors. Although state officials, including the Inspector General have uncovered huge illegal profits, they are not able to intervene. Unfortunately, opponents of 40B developments are often vilified as elitist, not in my back yard types or even racist, often by well-meaning advocates of affordable housing who have not familiarized themselves with the total picture.

Communities throughout the state have been degraded because of this law. Before you make a decision on how to vote on this matter, do a little homework at www.YesTwo.org.

Repeal of 40B would force our state legislators, local elected officials, and concerned citizens to work together for other solutions. I urge voters to vote yes on Question 2. Repeal 40B.

Barbara Babcock

Vineyard Haven