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Municipal tools for addressing housing needs

Housing affordability is based on the relationship between a resident's income and their housing costs.  Municipalities can improve (or hamper) housing affordability in a variety of ways.  For example: 

  • Taking an action which affects the town's economic vibrancy can bolster or constrict resident incomes. 
  • Every decision that impacts the supply of housing, such as zoning requirements, affects the cost of housing. 
  • Working with government and non-profit partners can provide access subsidies to increase the affordability of existing or new homes for many years to come. 

Just as important as considering each of these 3 impacts is striking the balance that keeps the town stable.  Since some actions might improve one leg of the stool but harm another, being as informed as possible about the extent and nature of potential consequences are key to increasing housing affordability.