Advancing Fair Affordable Housing Goals
You'll learn about:
Practical actions you can take to promote and produce affordable housing
How to inspire elected and appointed leaders to create successful alliances for producing locally supported housing initiatives
How local jurisdictions can further fair housing affirmatively
Like many metropolitan areas, Boston faces an ongoing need for affordable housing and for its communities to further fair housing efforts. Many communities support production of affordable housing in concept but want to balance that production with preserving community character. By tapping into public resources like affordable housing trusts, inclusionary zoning, and surplus public land or buildings, communities can better control the kind of affordable housing being developed. Being proactive may also provide some defense against third-party proposals inconsistent with community character that seek to bypass local zoning. Explore best practices for promoting affordable housing and learn how Boston used HUD’s Rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing to reshape its approach to local housing policy and development.
, Town of Arlington
Confirmed SpeakerJennifer Raitt serves as Director of Planning and Community Development for the Town of Arlington. She is an accomplished housing, community development, and planning professional who teaches, mentors, facilitates, and leads groups to success. With over 20 years of experience, she has worked for local and regional jurisdictions and served on local, regional, statewide, and national boards and commissions throughout her career. Prior to joining the Town of Arlington, Ms. Raitt oversaw the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's local and regional housing activities, including advising local and state officials on housing policy and programs. She provided technical assistance to local officials and other allied organizations to address a range of local needs and planning issues. While there she also served as Assistant Director for Land Use Planning, overseeing staff advancing housing, land use, economic development, zoning, and other local and regional projects. She also advanced the work of MAPC's eight subregional councils by overseeing the eight subregional coordinators and their respective efforts. Prior to joining MAPC, Ms. Raitt served as Executive Director for North Shore Housing Trust (now Harborlight Community Partners) where she developed affordable housing throughout Essex County and advanced local and regional affordable housing initiatives. She also worked as Community Development Director for the Town of Amesbury and as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader for a community land trust in Holyoke, MA. Ms. Raitt has earned many awards: the American Planning Association (APA) MA Chapter Social Advocacy Award (2015); Massachusetts Municipal Association Kenneth Pickard Innovation Award (2012); APA MA Chapter Statewide Planning Project Award (2011); MetroWest Collaborative Regional Spirit Award (2010); APA Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Housing and Community Development (2004-2010); City of Salem, MA Dedicated Service to Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board of Trustees (2009); MA Governor's Award for Smart Growth Leadership and Implementation (2004); APA Outstanding Planning Project Award (2004); U.S. Conference of Mayors Best Practices Citation (1999). Education and Professional Affiliations Ms. Raitt holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from The New School and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning and Documentary Studies from University of Massachusetts Amherst. She holds certifications in facilitative leadership from the Interaction Institute for Social Change and is a certified mediator through the Massachusetts Attorney General Office of Consumer Affairs. Her leadership appointments include serving as a board member of Citizens' Housing and Planning Association and member of the APA Legislative and Policy Committee. Ms. Raitt also serves on the MA Municipal Association Municipal and Regional Policy Committee. Ms. Raitt is also an adjunct professor in the Boston University City Planning and Urban Affairs Program. Areas of Expertise Comprehensive planning l zoning for housing affordability l housing plans l affordable housing development and finance l organizational planning l board development l project management l neighborhood revitalization and community development techniques l community visioning/ meeting techniques l conflict resolution and mediation.