The default option in many communities is for the local government to take on ongoing stewardship of inclusionary units. In these communities, the local housing department, or sometimes the planning department, will either add specialized staffing or add new responsibilities to the workload of several existing staff in order to provide monitoring and administrative oversight for inclusionary programs.
In Somerville, oversight for the city’s portfolio of inclusionary housing units is divided between six different staff positions. Two staff members maintain primary responsibility for marketing affordable units. Another two support staff members assist with processing initial eligibility certification and annual occupancy certification. These employees also review and approve refinancing requests from homeowners as requested.
A city home inspector inspects each unit prior to the initial sale to certify that it is ready for occupancy. The inspector also inspects units for needed repairs prior to resale and provides the homeowner with a list of basic maintenance that must happen prior to sale of the home.
Finally, a city attorney reviews and helps to prepare deed restrictions and other legal documents associated with the inclusionary units.
- Avoids the need to manage and monitor a contractor
- Direct accountability to elected officials
- Can divide responsibilities over several staff positions with different skill sets
- Staffing and overhead costs may be higher than other options
- Lack of specialization can harm performance
- Difficult to hold staff accountable for multiple objectives
- Small programs lack economies of scale