Comprehensive planning starts at home
When you think of comprehensive planning, do you think of housing developments and neighborhoods?
MVPC has the resources to conduct housing studies and analyses, prepare Housing Production Plans for communities, and conduct neighborhood revitalization and downtown redevelopment strategies and plans. For example, in 2010, the Town of Merrimac, the Merrimac Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board adopted a Housing Production Plan, and it’s been formally approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
MVPC also recently finalized a newer, updated Housing Production Plan for the Town of Merrimac in 2015.
A Housing Production Plan is a proactive strategy for planning and developing affordable housing in a way consistent with the Town’s goals and objectives by placing affordable housing where the Town determines it most appropriate. Housing Production Plan’s give communities that are under the 10% affordable housing threshold of Chapter 40B more control over comprehensive permit applications as outlined in their plans.
Healthy Planning for Housing
MVPC created a Public Health Planning Template for communities to utilize in their Housing Production Plans.
Healthy Planning for Housing is when city planning and health professionals prioritize the needs of vulnerable populations and incorporate these needs into their long-range housing plans and rules and regulations. Such principles include committing to:
• expanding transportation planning to encourage physical activity while reducing obesity, preventing injuries, and promoting wellness;
• developing equitable access to healthy food, civic services and access to health care (e.g., assurance of accessibility and adequacy of facilities);
• promoting sustainability through reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
• increasing the public’s awareness of natural resource stewardship and climate change, and
• preparing for emergencies (e.g., community infrastructure assurance, evacuation planning)
Neighborhood Planning in Action
Another example of neighborhood planning is the Haverhill Lower Acre Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. Funded through the Gateway City Action Grant program, MVPC worked with local neighborhood residents and stakeholders to develop and outline specific recommended actions which, when implemented, will advance the revitalization and redevelopment of an important downtown Haverhill neighborhood. The recommended strategies provided Haverhill with cost-effective, realistic action items which give the city the opportunity to assure that scarce resources are allocated in an effective manner, and targeted in such a way as to provide the greatest impact.
Housing Development Incentive Program.
The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) defines” The Housing Development Incentive Program, established as M.G.L., Chapter 40V, provides Gateway Cities with a development tool to increase residential growth, expand diversity of housing stock, support economic development, and promote neighborhood stabilization in designated geographic target areas”.