WILLIAMSTOWN -- Formally drafting its vision and goals will be one of the first matters the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund's board of trustees plans to address.
The board met for the first time Wednesday night following the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office signing off on the bylaw establishing the trust fund on Aug. 21. The bylaw was approved by Town Meeting on May 15.
Stanley Parese, who was elected chairman of the trust fund board, said that out of respect for the huge volume of work and hours dedicated to the matter by the Affordable Housing Committee, the committee should be part of the trust's vision and action plan.
"We're not re-inventing the wheel here, and my personal feeling is we ought to be thinking of them as part of the vision and action plan," he said.
Selectman Thomas Sheldon, who was elected vice chairman of the board, agreed.
"I do like the concept of bringing them into the vision. Collaboration is key with other boards that are stakeholders in this," he said.
He suggested the trust fund board also look to the Massachusetts Housing Partnership's "Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Guidebook" for sample goals set by other affordable housing trust funds in the state.
Catherine Yamamoto, chairwoman of the Affordable Housing Committee and recording secretary for the trust fund board, said that board members should consider rereading the town's Master Plan -- even though it is
The board agreed to designate a time at its next meeting on Oct. 3 to try to develop a vision and action plan. In the meantime, Sheldon volunteered to take on the work of drafting it.
Another topic the board discussed was potential funding sources for the trust fund. Town Meeting has already earmarked $200,000 of Community Preservation Acts funds to go into the trust fund.
Parese said that for now, he saw the funding sources for the trust as the Community Preservation Act and private donations.
Board members also discussed what might be available for funding on the state and federal levels but didn't reach any conclusions.
"I think that should be part of our mission, not only to figure out what do with the money, but how we can get it," Parese said.
In other business, Parese volunteered to draft a declaration of trust for board members to review at the Oct. 3 meeting. The declaration would be filed with the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds following its approval.