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Affordable Housing Committee Minutes 03/04/2013

Lenox Affordable Housing Committee & Trustees Joint Meeting
March 4, 2013

Committee Members present:  Kate McNulty-Vaughan (KMV), Ellen Jacobson (EJ), Debbie Burke (DB) and Jo Anne Magee (JAM) .  Trustees present:  Kate McNulty-Vaughan (KMV), Ellen Jacobson (EJ), Debbie Burke (DB), Jo Anne Magee (JAM) and Jackie McNinch (JM).  Committee Members absent: Olga Weiss.  Trustees absent:  Olga Weiss.

Also in attendance: Mary Albertson (MA), Town Planner.  

KMV served as Chair.  The meeting was opened at 4:07PM.


The minutes were tabled as there was not a quorum of the members who attend the meeting.  

Sub-Committee Reports:

Mortgage Program

JM said that the real estate market seems to be very busy.  She thinks the proposed mortgage program will be well received and the grant funds will go quickly.   KMV serves on the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) and she reported that she does not think the CPC will recommend funding for the Housing Trust in FY’14.  However, the CPC did indicate that the Housing Trust could use existing Trust-CPA funds to launch a mortgage program.  It is her observation that the CPC would like to see a longer recapture period.  JM explained that the longer recapture period sounds good but in reality it rewards the buyer who sells the property in the early years of the mortgage because the percentage payback is less.  KMV thanked JM for explaining that and she will relay that information to the CPC.  

JM said the banks can begin accepting homebuyer applications on March 26, 2013.  Discussion ensued regarding the need to move forward with the pilot program.  JAM made a motion to use Trust Funds to start a pilot homebuyer program with the following conditions:
  • There will be five grants available.
  • The grants will be 5% of the purchase price and a maximum of $10,000 per grant.
  • The Trust will work with Town Counsel to prepare legal documents with the legal costs to be paid from the Housing Trust.
  • There will be a five year recapture period for the mortgage.  
  • The property must be in Lenox.  
DB seconded the motion.  The vote of the Trustees was 5-0 to approve the motion.  

Members discussed marketing the program.  MA said any efforts need to follow fair housing guidelines.  MA will contact Town Counsel. She will also call a housing specialist who was recommended by the Community Preservation Coalition – the state organization the supports communities with the Community Preservation Act (CPA).  The housing specialist provides support free of charge for CPA communities.  KMV thanked JM and JAM for their work on this project.

Public Relations

KMV and EJ did not have any new information to report.  They will continue to work with Claudie Duby to finalize information and instructions for entering information on the Town website.

Sawmill Brook

This matter was tabled as there was no new information to report.  

The next meeting will be Monday – April 1, 2013 @ 4:00 PM.  JM will serve as Chair.

MA asked if there were any comments regarding the draft Town Report.  KMV suggested that a couple sentences by added regarding Connie Kruger’s Peer-to-Peer report.  MA will add this information and submit the Town Report.  

JAM made a motion to adjourn at 5:10 PM.  EJ seconded the motion and the vote was 5-0 to approve.  

Respectfully Submitted,
Mary Albertson, Town Planner

Approved:   4/1/13

Lenox Town Hall  6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240   PH: (413) 637-5500