Patch sent three questions to Republican state senate candidates Eric Dahlberg and Sandi Martinez, who will face off in the Sept. 14 primary. The last question in the series is on Question 2 on the November ballot: the repeal of Chap. 40B. The winner faces Sen. Susan Fargo (D-Lincoln) in the Nov. 2 election.
Q. What is your position on the ballot question #2 that is seeking to repeal Chapter 40B? Do you think it has worked to provide low income housing in the district? Are there other ways you can suggest to make communities in the district affordable?.
Dahlberg: I will be voting to repeal Chapter 40B, the state's so-called "affordable housing law." It has wreaked havoc in communities across the state, especially in my own town of Chelmsford.
While it may have been passed with the best of intentions, it has morphed into a state-sanctioned license for fat-cat developers to slash through local rules and processes in pursuit of invasive developments, forced down our throats under the guise of "affordable housing." Clearly, it has not brought down the cost of housing in Massachusetts.
Martinez: I have worked in the past with those in Chelmsford who were advocating we repeal 40B to stop this unfunded mandate. The following quote was found on the web, but expresses the thoughts of many of my fellow Chelmsford residents.
.." stop this unfunded atrocity that is ruining town budgets, infrastructure, school systems, etc. by disregarding the needs and wishes of local communities to determine their own growth patterns and resource utilization.
These generally large 40B developments hit seniors harder than most through increased taxes by creating a need to expand infrastructure, such as schools, increased police, fire and emergency care coverage by EMTs simply to accommodate the new and dramatic increase in population; most of which are not low income beneficiaries. These also negatively impact seniors who prefer to remain in private single family homes by creating burdensome fee and rate hikes necessary to provide increased water and sewer services, due in part to limited waste water treatment plants, hydrant pressure maintenance zones and other demands that can overwhelm towns on a shoestring budget."
I have been saying all along, that any mandates from the state must come with full funding. Affordable housing is important, but many towns and cites simply cannot afford the costs associated with it.