Social Justice: Arlington

Accessory Dwelling Units in Arlington: FAQs

An ADU is a separate, smaller living unit with its own kitchen and bathroom facilities and separate entrance that is included within a larger resident (type 1), attached to a residence (type 2) or located in an accessory (“detached”) structure on the same lot as a main residence (type 3). For a variety of ...
Continue reading

Housing & Arlington: Community Discussions

Beginning last July, 2020, the Town of Arlington and community groups in the town are sponsoring a number of webinars and zoom conversations addressing the need for affordable housing programs in Arlington. Several factors contribute to the Arlington housing situation: diversity of housing types, prices, diversity of incomes, availability of housing subsidies, rapid ...
Continue reading

Arlington Housing Prices- Out of Reach

Arlington Housing Prices are Out of Reach Arlington is an Economically Diverse Place Continue reading
Continue reading

Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory Dwelling Units (aka “granny flats”) The following information was presented to the Arlington Redevelopment Board in October, 2020 by Barbara Thornton, TMM, Precinct 16 This Article  proposes to allow Accessory Dwelling Units, “as of right”, in each of the 8 residential zoning districts in Arlington. Why is this zoning legislation important? Arlington is increasingly losing the diversity ...
Continue reading

Why Should Arlington Have an Affordable Housing Trust Fund?

Arlington has an opportunity to set up an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to provide more housing stability for its low and moderate income residents. The vote will occur in the Town Meeting starting Nov. 16, 2020. Continue reading
Continue reading

Municipal Affordable Housing Trust:

A Guide for Arlington The Massachusetts Housing Partnership put together this 2018 guidebook, v.3, to help municipalities adopt Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund (MAHT) legislation to suit the specific needs of each municipality. Arlington is considering the acceptance of enabling legislation in the November 2020 Virtual Town Meeting to create the Town’s own MAHT. ...
Continue reading

Multi-family Housing By Right

For Arlington’s Nov 2020 Special Town Meeting, my colleague Ben Rudick filed the following warrant article: ARTICLE 18: ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENT/IMPROVING RESIDENTIAL INCLUSIVENESS, SUSTAINABILITY, AND AFFORDABILITY BY ENDING SINGLE FAMILY ZONING To see if the Town will vote to amend the Zoning Bylaw for the Town of Arlington by expanding the set of allowed residential uses in ...
Continue reading

The Color of Law on the old Allen Farm

Restrictive covenants are a “list of obligations that purchasers of property must assume … For the first half of the 20th century, one commonplace commitment was a promise never to sell or rent to an African American”. These covenants gained popularity after the Supreme Court’s 1917 decision in Buchanan v. Warley. Rothstein’s book The Color ...
Continue reading

Redlining and Urban Heat Islands

In the 1930’s the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation of America (HOLC) created actuarial maps of the United states. These maps were color coded — Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red — to reflect the amount of “risk” associated with home loans in those areas. The colors corresponded to “Best” (green), “Still Desirable” (blue), “Definitely ...
Continue reading

The Color of Law on Sunnyside Ave

I live on Sunnyside Avenue in Arlington, Massachusetts. The neighborhood was built as two subdivisions in 1948, with 42 duplexes (84 homes total). These were starter homes with 792 square feet of finished space plus a basement with a garage. I affectionately refer to them as excellent specimens of mid-century slap-up. ...
Continue reading