I am writing to support of the Housing Production Plan that is before the board of selectmen. The Housing Production Plan maps options and guidelines for meeting residents’ expressed desire for reasonably sized and priced homes. Over 300 residents spoke through surveys, focus groups and virtual open house platforms and through the volunteer Housing Coalition that reviewed the plan: young families renting, children who grew up here, single parents who want to stay here, the aging ready to downsize, and many who like the mixed socioeconomic character of our town.
Unlike towns that grew rapidly and haphazardly, Foxboro’s growth has been orderly. However, today our housing choices stretch too many beyond financial prudence: one-third of our households spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent or mortgage. Most housing available is a mismatch for our elderly, 55 percent of whom are low income.
Most homes built this decade exceed 2,500 square feet, so that 22 percent of Foxboro’s houses are that and larger, compared to 13 percent under 1,200. How would the Housing Production Plan affect the overall housing stock in Foxboro? Incrementally, not disproportionately, since none of the options will add even 5 percent to the number of household units.
Most of the plan’s options lead to what could be called a starter home. The plan includes options:
- for affordable homes in walking distance from public transit, services and stores;
- for aesthetically repurposing historic buildings;
- for neighborhood communities that share a common green space;
- for in-law-style add on units and duplexes; and
- for controlled pricing.
Implementing any option will require our community’s input and approval. The Housing Production Plan marries resident wants with government resources and tools that can bring those wants to fruition. We can control the architecture of our housing stock. The plan invites residents to collaborate in and approve the direction and quality of housing development.
Marlene DeLeon, Foxboro