[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Glocester 5-15-2008, effective 5-15-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Planning Board — See Ch. 106.
Building permits — See Ch. 145.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 300.
Zoning — See Ch. 350.
Fair housing policy — See Ch. 364.
The Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act was established pursuant to Tide 45, Chapter 53, of the General Laws of Rhode Island to provide opportunities for the establishment of low- and moderate-income housing within every city and town throughout the state. It is the policy of the Town of Glocester to facilitate the development of all types of low- and moderate-income housing in accordance with the Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act and in conformance with the Glocester Comprehensive Community Plan.
The Town Council finds that the Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act requires every city or town throughout the state to provide low- and moderate-income housing in excess of 10% of the housing units reported in that city or town in the census. The Town Council further finds that the Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act authorizes every city or town to provide opportunities for housing that qualifies as low- and moderate-income housing through the adoption of a municipal government subsidy program. The Town Council finds that the housing and affordable housing component of the Comprehensive Community Plan for the Town of Glocester states that there are no local programs to assist low- and moderate-income households in accessing affordable housing. The Town Council further finds that the housing and affordable housing component of the Comprehensive Community Plan for the Town of Glocester establishes as one of its goals that the Town should provide opportunities for new housing that is geared to the needs of all segments of the population. The Town Council further finds that it is in the interest of the residents of the Town of Glocester to adopt a municipal government subsidy program for all residential developments.
The following words, whenever used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, have the following meanings:
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING
- Residential housing that has a sales price or rental amount that is within the means of a household that is of moderate income or less. In the case of dwelling units for sale, housing that is affordable means housing in which principal, interest, taxes, which may be adjusted by state and local programs for property tax relief, and insurance constitute no more than 30% of the gross household income for a moderate-income household. In the case of dwelling units for rent, housing that is affordable means housing for which the rent, heat, and utilities other than telephone constitute no more than 30%of the gross annual household income for household with 80% or less of area median income, adjusted for family size. Affordable housing shall include all types of year-round housing, including, but not limited to, manufactured housing, housing originally constructed for workers and their families, accessory dwelling units, housing accepting rental vouchers and/or tenant based certificates under Article 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, and assisted living housing, where the sale or rental amount of such housing, adjusted for any federal, state, or municipal government subsidy, is less than or equal to 30% of the gross household income of the low- and/or moderate-income occupants of the housing, or as defined by R.I.G.L. § 42-128-8.1(d)(1).
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING FUND
- An interest-bearing fund that is subsidized by developments that wish to pay a fee in lieu of constructing the required affordable housing unit. The fee shall be at least $200,000 per unit or donation of a buildable lot (i.e., with all necessary permits in place to receive a building permit) with the number of lots/units being equal to the required affordable set aside percentage. The custodian of said funds shall be the Director of Finance for the Town of Glocester.
- AMI (AREA MEDIAN INCOME)
- The midpoint in the income distribution within a specific geographic area. By definition, 50% of households earn less than the median income, and 50% earn more. HUD calculates AMI levels for different communities annually, with adjustments for family size. AMI is used to determine the eligibility of applicants for both federally and locally funded housing programs.
- LOW- OR MODERATE-INCOME HOUSING
- Any housing, whether built or operated by any public agency or any nonprofit organization or by any limited equity housing cooperative or any private developer, that is subsidized by the federal, state, or municipal government under any program to assist the construction or rehabilitation housing affordable to low- or moderate-income households, as defined in the applicable federal or state statute, or local ordinance that will remain affordable through a land lease and/or deed restriction for 99 years or such other period that is either agreed to by the applicant and Town or prescribed by the federal or state or municipal subsidy program but is not less than 30 years from initial occupancy, or as defined by R.I.G.L. § 45-53-3(5).
- MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
- A single person, family, or unrelated persons living together whose adjusted gross income is more than 80% but less than 120% of the area median income, adjusted for family size.
- MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY
- Assistance that is made available through a city or town program sufficient to make housing affordable, as "affordable" is defined in this chapter; such assistance may include, but is not limited to, direct financial support, abatement of taxes, waiver of fees and charges, and approval of density bonuses and/or internal subsidies, and any combination of forms of assistance.
The provisions of this chapter are applicable to all subdivisions and residential land developments according to Rhode Island General Laws, Title 45, Chapter 53, titled "Low and Moderate Income Housing," in the Town of Glocester.
There shall be a minimum of 10% of the total number of units in the land development project dedicated to affordable housing. This 10% can be a combination of low- and moderate-income housing.
The municipal government subsidy shall be one or more of the following:
A density bonus, where granted in accordance with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Glocester; and/or
A waiver of the building permit fee; and/or
A waiver or reduction of any municipal fees, guarantees, and charges; and/or
A waiver of the impact fee on the affordable units.
The Planning Board or applicant may wish to apply a subsidy in order to allow certain units to qualify as affordable housing. One or more subsidies may be utilized by the development to qualify as affordable housing under the state definition. Selection of the subsidy shall be made by the Planning Board, which may be based on the recommendation of the Town Planner and/or the Glocester Affordable Housing Board. When considering the amount and type of subsidy, the Board may consider, but not be limited to, the project size, site constraints, location, and other issues.
The applicant shall have the following options for construction of housing. The options are ranked in order of the Town's preference:
To construct market rate housing together with the affordable housing; or
To construct market rate housing and provide the Town with buildable lot(s) equivalent to the required affordable set aside; or
To construct market rate housing and pay the fee in lieu of affordable housing. (The Town would prefer the provision of a buildable lot for affordable housing which in turn could be given to a nonprofit affordable housing developer to develop.) All funds will be placed in an affordable housing fund.
It is the preference of the Town to have affordable housing constructed as part of any development rather than to have land set aside, collecting a fee in lieu or any other option.
Low- and moderate-income housing must be designated as such for a period of 99 years or such other period that is either agreed to by the applicant and Town but shall not be for a period of less than 30 years from initial occupancy through a land lease or deed restriction. The affordability deed restriction must be renewed with each sale of the property. The right of first refusal shall lie with the Town of Glocester, and should the monitoring agent forego this right, it would be offered to Rhode Island Housing as a secondary right of refusal.
The Planning Board of the Town of Glocester may require the inclusion of low-income housing units and/or provide a greater municipal subsidy when a development provides for low-income housing. When considering the amount and/or type of subsidies granted by the Planning Board, it may consider, but not be limited to, the following factors: any unique development constraints, including, but not limited to, project size, project location, and site size; economic feasibility and the amount of low-income housing being proposed. The Town Planner may provide a recommendation regarding the municipal subsidy based upon the above considerations.
Rhode Island Housing or an approved monitoring agent as approved by Rhode Island Housing, its successors or assigns shall monitor the units designated as low- and moderate-income housing units to insure compliance with the affordability requirements of the land lease and/or deed restriction.
The units created under the Glocester municipal subsidy program must be physically consistent with the overall character of housing already established in the development and the community. Every effort will be made to integrate affordable units into the surrounding community.
This chapter shall apply to both rental and ownership units, with rental units not to exceed eighty-percent AMI (area median income).
Within a project, low- and moderate-income units must be built simultaneously with or prior to construction of the market-rate units.
For the purpose of creating ownership units, a tiering of incomes is to be applied. One-half of the affordable units in a project must be at eighty-percent AMI or lower, and the other half can be negotiated with the Planning Board up to one-hundred-percent AMI.
The affordable units created under this chapter must be the owner's/renter's primary residence.
The Town of Glocester will assess low- and moderate-income units based on the deed restricted price, not the comparable value of a non-deed-restricted property for the life of the affordable deed restriction unless some other arrangement has been made with the Town of Glocester.
The municipal government subsidy program adopted by this chapter qualifies for the establishment of low- and moderate-income housing under the Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act established pursuant to Title 45, Chapter 53, of the General Laws of Rhode Island.