Deed Restriction Buy-Down
WATCH has submitted a Deed Restriction Buy-Down proposal to Waltham's Community Preservation Committee (CPC). The proposal establishes a landlord incentive program, which would use CPC funds to pay landlords a lump sum to rent their units affordably for a period of 10 years.
Waltham faces a crisis of affordable housing. Two in five households face a housing cost burden, and lack access to affordable alternatives. Residents face being pushed out of their homes as they are unable to keep up with Waltham's rapidly rising rents.
How does it work?
Waltham landlords receive up front a significant sum of money, equal to the difference between market value and affordable rent for a 10-year period. In exchange, a deed restriction for the same span of time is placed on the property.
Who will benefit from the program?
Renters: The program will help Waltham renters in a range of low-income levels and household sizes. Over the course of the program's 10-year operation, a minimum of 20 households will be given access to affordable housing. However, assuming an average of 5-year tenant turnover, the program will likely help closer to 40 households.
Homeowners: The program will benefit homeowners who need to fix up a unit before renting it but lack the funds to so. Participating landlords may use the payment for the deed restriction to bring their property up to state housing code standards in order to make it rentable through the program.
How are the tenants chosen?
The landlord will interview and choose their tenant and the administering agency will verify that they are income eligible. Each year the landlord will verify that they are renting to a tenant that meets the income criteria. The landlord may also receive assistance from the administrator in finding eligible tenants.
How much will it cost?
If 20 landlords participate, the program will cost $2.9 million. Payments to landlords will range from $42,000 to $260,000, depending on which category of tenant (i.e. income level) they choose to rent to.
Who else supports the proposal?
- Charles River Community Health - "We believe in the importance of addressing the social determinants of health that directly impact our patients' health, and housing is a crucial issue that can adversely affect someone's ability to lead a healthy life." (Read their full letter of support!)
- One Family
- Metro Housing Boston - "Countless referrals that are searching for affordable housing but no luck finding any!"
- Waltham Boys & Girls Club
- Jewish Family & Children's Services
- Community Day Center of Waltham - "Thank you to WATCH CDC for all that you do to help Waltham's most vulnerable citizens."
- Agape Spiritual Community
- Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)
- Wilson's Diner - "We need the Waltham community to continue to be a place where people of different socio-economic groups find a decent place to live."
- African Cultural Services Inc. - "We really need this because our incomes are just too low to manage otherwise."
- Waltham Council on Aging - "Waltham desperately needs more affordable housing."
- Pearl of Africa Store - "We have many immigrants that hire and work in Waltham and they're in demand. Please provide more affordable houses in Waltham."
How can I support the proposal?
Print and share the program flyer and factsheet.
Attend the CPC's hearing on the proposal on April 9 at 7pm.