Chilmark presents ownership guidelines for rental and ownership housing
The Chilmark affordable housing committee will hold a public hearing this evening to discuss a set of draft guidelines under which applicants would qualify for the Middle Line Road affordable housing project.
The town is developing 12 affordable housing units consisting of six privately owned houses and six rental units on 21 acres of town-owned land off Tabor House Road. There are separate guidelines for the six rental units and six house lots.
In either case, applicants would be selected by a lottery that provides a preference for Chilmark residents. The guidelines provide an additional lottery advantage for applicants who have lived, worked, or volunteered "in the town's public service sector for an accumulation of two years."
To qualify for affordable housing, applicants would need a total household adjusted gross income of not more than 150 percent of the median income for Dukes County, as certified by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority (DCRHA).
The 2006 median income for a family of four is $68,300. At 150 percent, that number increases to $102,500.
Applicants for rental housing must meet the selection criteria for the DCRHA rental conversion program, which includes income verification, credit references, and a criminal history background check.
According to the Chilmark housing committee (CHC) homesite housing program guidelines, "The goal of this program is to benefit the town by providing affordable housing for people who have lived, worked or volunteered in Chilmark for a substantial time but because of high land prices are unable to establish their homes in the town ... The program will sustain affordable housing as affordable in perpetuity through long-term deed restrictions and such other legal instruments as may be appropriate including, but not limited to, long term ground leases and rental agreements."
Under the draft homesite guidelines:
The CHC would be responsible for determining the qualifications of all applicants.
The selectmen would conduct a lottery of eligible purchasers for town-owned lots. On the other hand, a private property owner who provides an affordable lot may select an eligible purchaser or refer the lot to the selectmen.
A homesite housing lot would be limited to only one dwelling to "be used as the full-time, primary residence by the eligible purchaser."
The owner of a homesite lot may rent his or her house for up to six weeks per year at market rates. Beyond that time limit it may only be rented at an affordable rate to a qualified applicant.
The maximum resale of a homesite dwelling would be limited, based on a formula designed to provide continued affordability.
A homesite dwelling on a town lot may only be sold, resold, or transferred to an eligible purchaser. A dwelling on a private lot may be sold or transferred to a spouse or child irrespective of that person's qualifications as long as the property is used as a full-time primary residence.