Millbury’s Subsidized Housing Inventory

The Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) is used to measure a community’s stock of low- or moderate-income housing for the purposes of M.G.L. Chapter 40B, the Comprehensive Permit Law. While housing developed under Chapter 40B is eligible for inclusion on the inventory, many other types of housing also qualify to count toward a community’s affordable housing stock.

ProjectSHI UnitsAffordability Expires
Memorial Drive Development25In Perpetuity
Centerview Apartments54In Perpetuity
Colonial Drive Apartments60In Perpetuity
Congregate Housing Program23In Perpetuity
Linden Apartments32In Perpetuity
Water Street, Riverlin Street, Forest Drive, West Main Street, North Main Street, and Burbank Street13In Perpetuity
Elmwood Heights12032
DDS Group Homes4N/A
DMH Group Homes8N/A
MacArthur Drive1In Perpetuity
This data is derived from information provided to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by individual communities and is subject to change as new information is obtained and use restrictions expire. Data was provided as of 3/8/2022.

As of March 8, 2022, the Town of Millbury has 221 SHI units, which represents 3.95% of the Census 2010 Year Round Housing Units (5,592). The data has not been updated to reflect any changes in the Census 2020 Year Round Housing Units, so the Town’s percentage is likely to decrease.

The minimum mandated target for SHI is 10%, so the Town of Millbury is currently below the threshold.

SHI is a constantly moving target, as theoretically the number of year round housing units can change over time and SHI can increase or decrease depending upon when the affordability reaches its expiration date (if not in perpetuity). This is why it is of paramount importance that the Town of Millbury in its initial approval of projects of this nature require that all future SHI be “in perpetuity,” and not expire in 15- or 30-years, which seem to be the other typical expiration timeframes.

It is important for Millbury’s Town Manager, Board of Selectmen, Board of Appeals, and Planning Board to fully understand the subject of affordable housing and Chapter 40B and its implications and have the resources to make informed decisions that benefit existing residents first and foremost. If the correct decisions are made initially, then Chapter 40B and other affordable developments can be an asset to the Town of Millbury, if appropriately sited and don’t have detrimental impacts on existing neighborhoods or uses (i.e., increased traffic, increased noise levels, absence of parking spaces, decreases in property values, decreases quality of life and safety, etc.).

Concentrated density of people increases the probability of conflicts between individuals. As proof of this fact, all you have to do is turn on the local and national news and see what is happening in Boston and other high density communities.

High density developments do have an impact on all taxpayers. Adding residential units (population) increases demand on and expense of our property taxes for schools, busing, police, fire, emergency services, infrastructure maintenance, new buildings, etc. There are some individuals questioning the right mix of development that would help our tax base grow rather than cause a liability to our services or add new costly expenses (i.e., schools, fire department, etc.). Some municipal expenses are driven by population, such as: police and fire staffing, school resources, etc. It seems to be the consensus that residents don’t want Millbury to become the next Cambridge and want our growth to be managed responsibility and sustainably.

So let’s ensure that our Town Manager, Board of Selectmen, Board of Appeals, and Planning Board make smart and informed decisions about our collective future as a town by being proactively involved in each opportunity that we have to make our voices heard such as: telephone calls, emails, letters, meetings, public hearings, etc.