In 2018, Wellesley government officials and residents worked together to create a Housing Production Plan (HPP). The report identified that 94% of homeowners live in detached single-family dwellings, with a median price of $1.3 million and acknowledged the housing gap for low or middle income households.
To address these gaps the HPP recommended increasing housing alternatives, e.g., multi-family dwellings, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), townhouses, condos and apartments. Housing alternatives such as these offer many benefits and are an integral part of the climate solution because:
Smart Growth housing developments, with the use of green building materials, techniques and appliances, reduce residential energy consumption (by 33%) and water use (by 30%). In addition, housing developments in proximity to public transportation, commercial districts and town resources encourage development of pedestrian, bus and bicycle options to mitigate traffic congestion.
The nascent plans to redevelop Barton Road to include families and individuals of mixed incomes and age while maintaining its commitment to current residents, offers a possibility for such sustainable development. While such a project may cause Wellesley to exceed the state’s 10% minimum affordable housing mandate, this percentage requirement is predicted to increase soon , given the state’s current affordable housing shortage.
Building A Better Wellesley is a group taking about this topic. They are advocating for attainable housing and housing diversity in Wellesley. You can learn more about them here.
Thoughtful housing development will support Wellesley’s efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and reach our future greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
Learn more about affordable housing as part of the climate solution here.