City to release housing study Monday

WESTFIELD – The City of Westfield is expected to release a study regarding the addition of housing units early next week, according to Westfield Community Development Director Peter Miller.



The Westfield Riverfront Development Feasibility Study is looking to identify national housing trends and how the projected growth of the Whip City will affect it’s housing needs.
The study is expected to propose three scenarios for development along the Westfield River.
It will also look to examine such issues as the age of the city’s pre-1950 downtown housing stock, the demand for single and multi-family units, and census projections of where the city will sit at the end of the decade, of which a source close to that data believes will continue to grow through 2030.
The study will also shed light on “affordable” housing, which Miller said the city still needs more of, but has more than the majority of communities across the Commonwealth.
“About seven percent of of our housing is classified as ‘affordable’ by the DHCD,” Miller said yesterday of a study conducted by the Department of Housing and Community Development. “There is a ten percent goal around the state, but not all communities are as close as we are.”
The DHCD is a state agency whose mission is “to strengthen cities, towns and neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life of Massachusetts residents” by providing professional assistance and financial resources to promote “safe, decent affordable housing opportunities, economic vitality of communities and sound municipal management.”
The Riverfront Redevelopment study is also going to introduce additional findings related to a potential influx of market rate housing, more information of which will be released Thursday evening at Westfield Vocational-Technical High School at a meeting between the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and the City of Westfield’s Downtown Housing Advisory Committee.
The Westfield Riverfront Development Feasibility Study is set to drop next Monday.

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