Town Meeting 2021 background: Real Estate Transfer Fee Forum

Informational Forum on Real Estate Transfer Fee
Attend to learn about this innovative way to fund the Affordable Housing Trust.

Via Zoom, Date: 03/04/2021 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

The Town of Arlington’s Housing Plan Implementation Committee (HPIC) and the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) invite you to a virtual informational forum on real estate transfer fees scheduled for March 4, 2021, at 7PM. The approval of a home rule petition for a real estate transfer fee is on the warrant for Annual Town Meeting beginning on April 26, 2021. The purpose of this forum is to provide the community with an overview of real estate transfer fees (RETFs), the proposed warrant article and home rule petition process, how other communities plan to use RETFs, and to answer your questions.

The panelists for this forum include:

Frank (Rich) Feeley, Concord Housing Foundation President and retired faculty member at the Boston University School of Public Health;
Hannah Carrillo, Sustainable Neighborhoods Coordinator in the City of Somerville’s Housing Division and leading the state-wide advocacy group, Transfer Fee Coalition;
Ellen Shachter, Director of Somerville’s Office of Housing Stability and also leading the Transfer Fee Coalition; and
Erin Zwirko, Assistant Director, Planning and Community Development.

The HPIC began discussing the potential benefits of adopting RETF over a year ago as a companion to the adoption of an Affordable Housing Trust. Both were submitted for the 2020 Annual Town Meeting, and the Affordable Housing Trust was continued to the November 2020 Special Town Meeting, where it was adopted with an overwhelming majority of Town Meeting Members. The RETF article has been resubmitted to the 2021 Annual Town Meeting warrant. The Warrant Article is filed as a Home Rule petition, which, if adopted and approved by the Massachusetts Legislature, would eventually have to be added to a ballot for an upcoming election in Arlington.

A RETF provides a continual and renewing source of revenue for the Arlington Affordable Housing Trust Fund. If the RETF is adopted by Town Meeting, the Arlington Affordable Housing Trust will be prepared to assist low- and moderate-income households in a holistic and well-capitalized way that Arlington has not yet been able to achieve even with the dedicated funding from the Community Preservation Act and the Community Development Block Grant funds. A well-funded MAHT would serve as a vehicle to aggregate resources to support the creation and preservation of affordable units by AHA, HCA, and others.

Register in advance for this meeting: https://town-arlington-ma-us.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIlce-trT0uE9Hsfa2Rj3rm7Ge6Etso7iQw. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The forum will be recorded and shared if you are unable to attend this virtual event. For more information, please contact Erin Zwirko, Assistant Director for Planning and Community Development, at 781-316-3091 or ezwirko@town.arlington.ma.us.

This video was created in coordination with Arlington Community Media, Inc. in Arlington, MA. ACMi is dedicated to providing an electronic forum for the free exchange of information and ideas which reflect the talents, skills, interests, concerns, and diversity of the Arlington, Massachusetts community.

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Produced by | March 5, 2021 |