M.G.L 184 - Guidance for Approval

Information you to to prepare for approval of the Affordable Housing Restriction

Information to be Submitted for Chapter 184 Approval - The Affordable Housing Restriction

  • A site plan
  • Architectural plans (simple renderings, elevations, or plans which describe the subject housing are sufficient)(photographs, if the building already exists)

A cover letter which:

  • addresses the consistency of the subject housing with the public interest in affordable housing and with national, state, regional, and local affordable housing programs;
  • addresses the consistency of the housing with local comprehensive land use planning, including Comprehensive or Master Plans;
  • addresses the consistency of the housing with state, regional, and local land use or development plans; and
  • describes all known proposals by governmental bodies for use of the land, if any, or a statement that no such proposal is known

A copy of the housing section of the local Consolidated Plan (formerly the
Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy or CHAS), if available, or a
statement that no such plan exists

DHCD's Certificate of Approval form (with blanks filled in) for the Undersecretary's signature.

To be submitted only if the holder of the restriction is not a governmental entity:
Proof of prior local approval by: Mayor (or City Manager) and City Council
OR Selectmen or Town Meeting

To be submitted only if the land was acquired from the municipality:

Proof of compliance with G.L. c. 30B by: Letter from Town Counsel or City Solicitor certifying compliance OR Copies of advertisement with dates of publication in newspapers and

Central Register and of c. 30B, § 16(g) Notice with date of publication.

General Policy Guidelines

  • Lock-In Period - minimum 30 years for new construction; minimum 15 years for substantial rehabilitation
  • Affordability Ratio - dependent on local policy, project characteristics, and funding sources
  • Income Limit - maximum of 80% of area median; 100% of area median for
    Community Preservation Act - assisted housing; higher income limits may be approved if part of a local housing program / policy
  • Sales Prices/Rents/Rates - generally consistent with DHCD Division of Housing Development guidelines
  • Tenant/Buyer Selection - generally consistent with DHCD Division of Housing Development guidelines
  • Proportion of Affordable Rental Units to Affordable Ownership Units - generally equal
  • Other -various project specific issues

Note regarding Subsidized Housing Inventory: Approval of an affordable housing restriction under G.L. c.184 does not constitute approval for housing units to be included in the Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI). In order for units to be included in the SHI they must be "low or moderate income housing" as defined in G.L. c.40B §20. More details can be found in Section II (A) ("Subsidized Housing Inventory") of the Comprehensive Permit Guidelines published by DHCD.

You may also contact DHCD's Office of Chief Counsel at 617-573-1502.


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