The MVC DRI Affordable Housing Policy Subcommittee spent almost ten months revising and updating the Affordable Housing Policy, which was written in 1998, so that it would better respond to the Island's housing needs and the housing impacts of DRI projects. The updated policy went into effect on July 12, 2019 and can be found under DRI Documents.
Here are some of the major changes:
Title of Policy/Scope of Housing Mitigation: The term "Affordable Housing" targets those with incomes up to 80% AMI (Area Median Income); the Commission's practice, reflecting recent studies, has recognized the need to provide housing for higher levels of income as well. In acknowledgment of this practice, which the Commission continues to believe is appropriate for the Island, the policy title was changed from "Affordable Housing Policy" to simply "Housing Policy," and it expressly covers housing for those with incomes from 81% to 150% AMI (broadly understood as "Community Housing").
DRI Housing Mitigation trigger is no longer tied to the DRI threshold for commercial and residential development projects.
Change of Use: Any DRI mmodification that proposes a change of use, or an increase in intensity of use, is subject to a housing mitigation contribution based on that change.
Mitigation Options: Like the previous policy, DRI applicants can offer either land, housing or monetary mitigation, but the new policy has a stated preference for lots and/or dwelling units instead of monetary mitigation.
Valuation of a lot: The value of a lot in a division or subdivision of land is based on the fair market value of lot post-development.
Quantity of lots/housing to be provided: The ratio of housing contribution to development (1/10) remains the same; however, fractional values are expressly written in the policy.
Family Subdivisons: The policy now expressly states an exemption for family subdivisions unless or until the property is sold out of the family.
Commerical and Mixed-Use Developments: The updated policy establishes a new formula where monetary mitigation is the product of new square footage, multiplied by a base rate of $8.00, and an industry intensity code. There are incentives to provide actual housing units, as opposed to monetary mitgation.
Change of Use: Any DRI modification that proposes a change of use, or an increase in intensity of use, is subject to a housing mitigation contribution based on that change.
Accessibilty and Visitability Standards: The policy requires that dwelling units comply with certain standards to accommodate the needs of aging Island residents.