The Supreme Judicial Court Declares that Inexpensive Market-Rate Housing May Not Be Counted in Determining a Town’s Compliance with Chapter 40B

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On Tuesday, in Zoning Board of Appeals of Lunenburg v. Housing Appeals Committee, the Supreme Judicial Court soundly rejected a zoning board of appeals’ argument that inexpensive market-rate homes may be counted toward a town’s affordable housing obligations under Chapter 40B.

The board contended that a developer could not invoke Chapter 40B even though only 1.9% of Lunenburg’s housing stock was recognized by the state as subsidized housing — because, the board argued, cheap marketrate homes already met what Chapter 40B calls the “regional need for low and moderate income housing.”

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