WILLIAMSTOWN -- As the Affordable Housing Committee continues to investigate potential sites for low-cost housing, it’s moving ahead with having a study done to document the housing needs in town.
Catherine Yamamoto, chairwoman of the Affordable Housing Committee, said Thursday that the committee, through the town, will issue a request for proposal seeking to hire a consultant to perform a marketing analysis and a housing-needs assessment.
"This is something that is required by developers and agencies that provide funding for housing projects. They need to have up-to-date information as to the town’s housing needs and demographics," she said.
Even though the town’s Master Plan does have that information in it, it’s 10 to 12 years old, she said. While the findings presented in the document are likely still valid, developers and agencies not familiar with Williamstown will want to see current information, she said.
The Affordable Housing Committee isn’t sure yet how much it will cost to hire a consultant to perform the study, but it’s expecting the price will be below $25,000, she said.
The study will be paid for from the $107,500 in Community Preservation Act funds that Town Meeting approved for use by the Affordable Housing Committee in May, she said. The committee requested the funds for technical services to determine the viability of developing low-cost housing on local properties. The request was made following The Spruces Mobile Home Park being flooded during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. The event renewed interest in addressing the need for more affordable housing in town.
Yamamoto said that the Affordable Housing Committee hopes that the marketing analysis and housing needs assessment will be completed by March 31, 2013.
To reach Meghan Foley, email