Amherst Affordable Housing Trust Fund

The Trust's mission, as an instrument of town government, is to promote the town's affordable housing priorities as determined through the most recent town housing plan, particularly to create safe, decent, and affordable housing for our most vulnerable populations. 


Amherst Affordable Support Studio Apartment Project by Valley CDC at 132 Northampton Road
View the project information page
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Information and Presentation from the 40R Smart Growth Initiative

Upcoming Meetings 

  • Housing Trust Meeting – Thursday, January 14, 2020 at 7:00PM via Zoom

Current Initiatives

1) Initiating the RFP process for an affordable housing development at the East Street School property.  

2) Developing a Town Housing Policy to set affordable housing as a common goal shared by the entire town government. 

3) Supporting a proposal for an Inclusionary Zoning Policy change that will allow more affordable units in future developments where a special permit is requested. 

4) Homelessness Prevention Program. The Housing Trust encouraged the development of this program. Family Outreach of Amherst successfully applied for CDBG funds to support it. 

Committee Member Year Appointed Term Expires
Paul Bockelman, Ex Officio    
Allegra Clark 2021 2022
Robert Crowner 2019 2022
Sidonio Ferreira 2017 2023
Francis Goyes 2020 2022
John Hornik, Chair 2016 2022
Carol Lewis 2019 2022
Erica Piedade   2019 2022
William Van Heuvelen 2019 2022

Smart Growth (40R Overlay) District

Click here to go to the 40R Information webpage

Fall Housing Forum



Orientation to the Role and Responsibilities of Municipal Affordable Housing Trusts
Presentation compiled by Chair John Hornik. In July 2019 several new members were appointed to the Trust. Chair John Hornik provided all members an orientation to the Trust, its functions, responsibilities, current, and past projects. 

HAPA Contract with Whitney Demetrius
Contract outlining the creation of a housing advocacy coalition through the Citizen's Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) municipal engagement initiative. 

The goal of the Municipal Engagement Initiative is to help communities build support for affordable housing production. CHAPA will provide technical assistance to the Trust toward the following collaborative goals:

  • Create a broad-based Housing Coalition in Amherst. 
  • Present to and build support for the Trust Housing Policy from the following Town entities: Town Council, Planning Board, Community Preservation Act Committee, Planning Department, and other relevant Town Boards and Committees. 
  • Build support for the Trust Housing Policy amongst other civic, non-profit, and educational organizations in Amherst. 
  • Develop strategies identified by the Trust and the newly formed Housing Coalition to advance specific proposals that will lead to housing development. This may include zoning changes or using municipally owned property for housing development. Additional goals, as mutually agreed upon by the Trust and CHAPA.  
Kuhn Riddle Final Report on East Street School Site
Site Study, Conceptual Designs, and Cost Analysis by Kuhn Riddle Architects for the East Street School project. Summary report of November 1, 2018 Housing Forum included. 

MassHousing Contract with Karen Sunnarborg
Contract outlining the scope of work and timeline for the consultant working with the Trust. Tasks include identifying sites for development, preparing and conducting an outreach strategy, preparing a site analysis strategy,  conducting a public forum, and identifying and creating a Chapter 40R Smart Growth Overlay District. 

MassHousing Planning for Housing Production (HPP) Application 
A grant application to MassHousing to support Trust initiatives such as feasibility analysis for parcels that could be acquired by the Trust, a public education and discussion forum, and to bring on a 40R consultant to work with the Town.  

Housing Forum Presentation 
Presentation prepared for the November 1, 2018, Housing Forum by Dave Ziomek, John Hornik, Rita Farrel. Community members gathered to hear about the Trusts and specifically the East Street School project and participated in a brainstorming session facilitated by Trust and League of Women Voters (LWV). 


Housing Trust Strategic Plan FY18-22 
Produced with the assistance of consultant Jennifer Goldson this plan outlines 5-year goals for the Trust to pursue including: to foster the development of affordable housing, support homelessness prevention initiatives, and to expand the availability of direct housing assistance. 

Working the Amherst Housing Puzzle: A Community Problem Solving Forum 
About 60 people attended this forum to discuss the challenges faced by the Town in trying to increase its stock and diversity of affordable housing. 

Comprehensive Housing Market Study 
This study had 3 overarching goals:
  • To identify populations excluded from Amherst because of housing affordability
  • To understand the impacts on the housing market from student housing needs
  • To review existing land use regulations which hinder the development of market-rate housing
UMass/Town of Amherst Housing and Economic Development Plan 
The Town-Gown Steering Committee engaged consultants to prepare a housing and economic development plan. The scope of the work was to recommend interventions for UMass and Amherst to pursue in order to create a stable balance in housing and economic growth, allowing both the University and Town to prosper. 

Amherst Housing Production Plan (HPP) 
The HPP is a study which examines the specific impacts of demographic changes, particularly shifts in student population, relative to the dynamics of the housing market conditions in order to determine the current and future housing needs of the community. 

Chapter 4 (Housing and Demographics) of the Town’s Master Plan 
Prepared by the Town, this Master Plan provides a blueprint for the future, guiding the community's long-term development. The Housing Plan offers an overarching goal to increase access to housing that is affordable to and meets the physical needs of the broadest spectrum of the community, and minimizes environmental impact.


Craig's Doors

Craig’s Doors – A Home Association, Inc. was founded in the summer of 2011 to assist those who do not have a home, with a primary mission of developing affordable housing. Our goal is to create and develop a model of supportive single room occupancy housing for those in our community who are the most vulnerable. In the fall of 2011, Craig’s Doors took over the running of the Amherst Emergency Shelter and renamed it Craig’s Place.

MassHousing Partnership

Housing Toolbox Strategies and best practices for the creation and preservation of affordable housing, with guides, tools, and resources for local boards & committees, planners, municipal staff, developers, and volunteers.

ONE Mortgage - If you are a first-time homebuyer, the ONE Mortgage Program is for you. ONE Mortgage offers you the comfort of knowing your mortgage is financially sustainable.

Glossary of Affordable Housing Terms

CHAPA - Citizen's Housing and Planning Association

Chapter 40B Resources - Chapter 40B, also known as the Comprehensive Permit Law, was enacted in 1969 to help expand the number of communities and neighborhoods where households with low and moderate incomes could secure a safe and affordable home. 

Accessible Housing Registry -The MassAccess Housing Registry helps people to find affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in Massachusetts. A key feature of the Registry is to highlight homes for people with disabilities who need accessible or barrier-free housing.

DHCD - MA Department of Housing and Community Development

A Guide to Obtaining Housing Assistance - This reference guide is for Massachusetts residents seeking information on housing for low and moderate-income families and individuals. 


Mortgage Calculator - By providing financial information, you can calculate how much you can afford to spend on a home. Keep in mind that many additional factors play a part in the loan qualification process. We recommend that you use the worksheets provided to assess your financial situation prior to using the affordability calculator.

First Time Homebuyer Guide - The homebuying process might seem complicated or unmanageable. But knowing all the key parts to buying a home will help you plan for challenges and avoid mistake This step-by-step guide will help you navigate the winding path towards homeownership.  

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity

Big Enough: Pioneering the Small Home Revolution

Valley Community Development

Home Ownership Services


Housing Resource Center

Community Action Pioneer Valley

Look4Help Public Resource Directory was created in response to a community need for a centralized online tool to facilitate communication of available resources, service information, referrals, and a coordination of services.

The Look4Help website provides a free on-line searchable listing of supportive local resources, and includes detailed, up-to-date information about organizations and their programs. Look4Help lists the services of non-profit organizations, government agencies, health and human services, medical and mental health providers, and others.