The effort to increase affordable housing home ownership opportunities is a priority for the city, according to City Manager Thomas Ambrosino.
Earlier this month, District 8 Councilor Calvin T. Brown requested that Ambrosino update the City Council on potential parcels, including those in tax title, for transfer to Chelsea’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board (AHTFB) for use as affordable home ownership sites.
“At the City’s request, the City Council previously approved the transfer to the AHTFB of 41-43 Orange St., a tax title parcel, for development as affordable home ownership,” said Ambrosino. “That development process is now underway. Further, the City has another parcel, a bank-owned two family now in receivership, that we are looking at for potential AHTFB use.”
In addition, Ambrosino said that each month, at an internal “problem properties” meeting, city officials meet to discuss strategies for addressing problems, blighted parcels, and the possibility, when appropriate, of transfer of such parcels to the AHTFB for affordable home ownership.
“The Council has my commitment that we will continue to pursue aggressively this goal of developing affordable home ownership, through transfer of parcels to the AHTFB, as one of several tools for dealing with the housing crisis,” said Ambrosino.
Brown said he appreciated the input from Ambrosino.
“This is a conversation that we definitely need to continue to have,” said Brown. “This is an opportunity, there are some properties, and there are some parcels out there that we should look into and make this a prioritized mission of the City Council.”
Moving forward, Brown said the city and the council could have a leg up at looking into some of these parcels and potentially developing them for affordable ownership opportunities.
“I look forward to having more discussion with this and finding out how quickly we can have a meeting on what’s out there and potentially what we need to be addressing,” said Brown.
Council President Roy Avellaneda has pushed for affordable home ownership opportunities during his time on the Council, and has stated that the council and the city also has to look beyond the AHTFB.
Avellaneda has been leading discussions on the appropriation of $75,000 for appraisal and consulting services that could eventually lead to the creation of affordable home ownership opportunities on Suffolk Street and Congress Avenue. That process is still in subcommittee.