Plymouth Housing Production Plan

Glossary of Terms

Affordable: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers housing affordable if housing costs (including utilities) do not exceed 30% of a household's income.

Affordable Housing: Affordable housing is also defined according to percentages of median income for an area. According to HUD "extremely low income" housing is reserved for households earning at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI); "very low income" households are households earning between 31% and 50% of the AMI; and "low income" households are households earning between 51% and 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Area Median Income (AMI) - means area median household income as defined by HUD pursuant to section 3 of the 42 USC. 1437 (the Housing Act of 1937), as amended, adjusted for household size.

Community Preservation Act: The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a Massachusetts law that allows participating cities and towns to adopt a real estate tax surcharge of up to 3% in order to fund the four community preservation purposes of open space, historic preservation, affordable housing, and recreation. In addition to the community tax surcharge, the state provides matching funds that are not less than 5% and not more than 100% of the funds raised by the community. The actual percentage varies from year to year dependent on the health of the Commonwealth's community preservation trust fund, which is funded by a surcharge on Registry of Deeds transactions. Communities with Community Preservation funding, such as Plymouth, should find this resource invaluable in paying for upfront predevelopment costs and feasibility analysis, staff and consultants, as well as leveraging additional subsidies.

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC): annually solicits proposals for the use of the funds, ranks the submissions, and makes a recommendation to Town Meeting for the best use of program funds. By law, a minimum of 10% of the CPA money must be spent on affordable housing. The CPC has been a strong advocate of affordable housing and will continue to offer financial assistance to worthwhile projects.

CPA in Plymouth: The town of Plymouth adopted the CPA and local bylaw in May 2002. The Plymouth bylaw adopted a rate of 1.5% for the property tax surcharge and established a Community Preservation Committee (CPC). No exemptions were included. The Community Preservation Committee in Plymouth is made up of nine members that include a member from the Conservation Committee, the Historical Commission, the Planning Board, Housing Authority, one member of the Board of Selectmen and four members appointed by the Plymouth Board of Selectmen.