Affordable housing regulations in Acton, like most of Mass, are asinine and racist. This town is controlled by NIMBYS 1/ 13
Families can qualify for subsidized moderate-income housing if their income "is less than or equal to one hundred twenty (120) percent, but more than eighty (80) percent of the median income for the Boston Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area" 2/13
and subsidized low-income housing if their "income less than or equal to eighty (80) percent of the median
income for the Boston Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area" In a vacuum these aren't necessarily bad rules: the median family income in Acton is about $120,000 3/13
thus, the qualifications for low-income housing (<$50,283) and moderate-income housing (between $57,467 and $86,200) line up with the goal of making the community affordable. However, this assumes that the town actually develops subsidized housing (shocker, it does not) 4/13
In typical NIMBY fashion, this is just the tip of the Iceberg that is Acton's housing problem. The town zones almost all residential areas for single-family housing, and upzoning is largely prohibited --
AND the rate of construction is not even approaching the demand to live in town. So now we're stuck with the median house price sitting ABOVE $600,00 -- which is pretty hard for a family making $120,000 to afford, let alone the people stuck in the range 6/ 13
between moderate-income and the town median (any family making ~$87,000-$120,000). I don't know how much stock I can put into Zillow's 7.3% 1-year price forecast, but even if we make a more conservative prediction (like 5%), the housing prices will keep outpacing wage growth 7/13
Some of these housing regulations come from the State and Federal level, which are bullshit, and (to some extent) within our power to change. But demanding upzoning permissions and more affordable housing in Acton is VERY doable. Town-level politics is objectively boring 8/13
but it matters! This summer I saw pretty much all of town at the BLM protests and I know that a shitload of those same people turned around and protested constructing more affordable housing in Acton. Making the community cheaper and easier to live in is the clearest path to 9/13
accomodating the people from all of the demographics we shove out of town. There is an obvious way to actually act on the social justice principles everyone purports to believe. The evidence is clear: more affordable communities are more socially and racially diverse 10/13
The Boston area is one of the epicenters of racist and discriminatory zoning laws and planning. To (even attempt to) right these wrongs we have a moral obligation to make the town more affordable. 11/13
In general, Acton is even NIMBYER than the average Boston suburb (which is REALLY saying something). Just two years ago we voted against allowing any dispensaries in town, right after voting to legalize Cannabis. Principles don't mean shit if they don't become action. 12/13
And in the process of banning weed stores in town, we shut out tax revenue and business. Pretty similar to the economic ramifications of keeping people out of the town.

This shit is SICKENING - of course, we need to vote, but we also need to get involved on the local level 13/13
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