Wellesley scores Housing Choice Designation

Wellesley this week joins 13 other communities in earning the state’s Housing Choice Designation in recognition of their efforts to produce new housing units and put in place practices to sustain housing production.

Town Executive Director Meghan Jop said in January during a League of Women Voters of Wellesley session on housing’s past, present, and future, that the town for the first time would qualify for the state’s Housing Choice Designation.This is exciting because it could improve the town’s chances for grants and funding through programs like MassWorks and Complete Streets.

By getting its housing production plan approved a couple of years ago, Wellesley put itself in a position to better control its housing destiny rather than allow developers to dictate terms. It also formalized the town’s efforts to address an affordable housing shortage that has since met state standards.

The state this week doled out $5M to 28 communities under the Housing Choice Initiative, giving Wellesley a taste of what could come its way down the road.

Great Barrington, Holliston, Lincoln, Lynn, Maynard, Millbury, and Walpole join Wellesley as newcomers to the program. Ayer, Burlington, Franklin, Hingham, Newton, and Wrentham are back in the game. Overall 78 communities have qualified.