WILLIAMSTOWN -- Members of the town's Affordable Housing Trust (AHT) are moving forward with making changes to their page on the town's website.
At the AHT's monthly meeting Wednesday night, Chairman Stanley Parese said advancing its web presence would give residents a better sense of what work the trustees do.
"I have detected in some casual conversations with people in town an uncertainty about us as an entity," he said.
Parese said some residents often confuse the AHT with the Affordable Housing Committee (AHC), even though they are two separate entities with different powers, goals and members.
Parese added he was surprised to learn some residents were unaware the Trust is a part of town government with open meetings.
"I think it would be good for us to have an easy way for people to have a better sense of what we are," Parese said.
The AHT was originally created at 2012's annual Town Meeting and is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the selectmen. According to the warrant article voters approved, the AHT has the power to accept private and public money to be used toward affordable housing, as well as accept, purchase or retain property. It can also borrow money, execute leases and manage property. In comparison, the AHC doesn't have any of those powers.
The AHT has been funded through the Community Preservation Act, a two percent surcharge on property tax with revenues devoted to affordable housing, historic preservation, supporting open space and creating land for recreational use. The AHT received $200,000 last year and has requested the same amount from the Community Preservation Committee again this year.
Many other trusts have websites for distributing information and resources, Parese said.
"Ours is as spare as any, but I think that's reflective of our very young age," he said.
The trustees brainstormed several documents to be included on the website, included meeting minutes, a copy of the trust instrument, the action plan, and the warrant article that voters approved.
Parese, calling it the "gold standard," repeatedly referenced the website of an affordable housing trust in Cambridge.
"There are pages within pages where they describe their projects, funding, mission and history," he said.
The website also contains archived meeting minutes and agendas, along with a page dedicated to resources for additional information.
Trustees agreed to move forward and contact Town Manager Peter Fohlin with regard to posting the additional items onto the web site. Parese said the topic of the website will be on future AHT meeting agendas.
To reach Edward Damon, email