East Boston Savings Bank has donated $5,000 to support the City of Malden’s affordable housing strategies. The funds will help cover analysis the City needs to craft an inclusionary zoning policy. Inclusionary zoning is considered a best practice for municipalities concerned about affordability and the housing crisis, and has been a policy priority for Mayor Gary Christenson. The analysis will give Malden leaders the data they need to develop a policy that produces the greatest share of affordable homes and helps meet the needs of all Malden residents.
“This generous contribution brings us closer to passing an inclusionary zoning ordinance and making Malden a more affordable city for all of our residents,” said Mayor Gary Christenson. “I’m proud that we have a partner like East Boston Savings Bank to help us preserve our community and move Malden forward.” “Once I heard more about what Mayor Christenson was looking to accomplish by creating an inclusionary zoning policy the Bank was all for it. The results of the analysis will help create the new policy supporting the City’s affordable housing strategies and protect the City’s diverse community as well as provide affordable housings to its residents,” said Richard J. Gavegnano, President and CEO of East Boston Savings Bank.
Inclusionary zoning policies leverage private sector development by requiring residential developments to build a certain percentage of deed-restricted affordable homes. Policies vary by community, and are most successful when they consider that community’s real estate market, zoning restrictions, affordable housing needs, development costs, and other factors. If a policy sets the affordability requirements too high or too low, the community could lose out on the number of affordable homes that would be built. To avoid this problem, the Mayor proposed commissioning an analysis to help inform Malden policymakers. The City Council unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the effort.
The Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA) has been working closely with the Mayor’s office on affordable housing strategies, including inclusionary zoning. Having worked with East Boston Savings Bank on several public initiatives before, the MRA approached the bank about inclusionary zoning analysis late last year. The Bank quickly agreed to support the effort with their contribution. “This donation continues East Boston Savings Bank’s long-standing commitment to the Malden community,” said MRA Executive Director Deborah Burke. “We are grateful to have such engaged community partners, and look forward to the results of our efforts: a research-driven inclusionary zoning policy that protects our diverse community and provides affordable homes for Malden residents.”
In addition to inclusionary zoning, the Mayor and MRA have pushed for an Affordable Housing Trust Fund and a Security Deposit Pilot Program. The City Council recently adopted the Affordable Housing Trust Fund ordinance, and the Security Deposit Pilot Program has been under review by the Community Preservation Commission (CPC) since being submitted by community partner Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) in September