We all want housing to be more affordable, in Acton, right?

This survey is to figure out what the public wants when they say they want housing to be more affordable in Acton.

There are lots of surveys going around that are sponsored by people who are working for the construction industry and state/local agencies which depend on new construction for their income and/or non-monetary awards. These other surveys may even be trying to convince you that building more new housing in Acton will result in "good companies" coming to Acton. Who is sponsoring these surveys?  At least one of them is being sponsored by people who are being paid to convince you that the new construction is good for you.

These surveys are so biased, that we thought we'd do our own biased survey! This one is biased too! It's biased toward people who live here in town! It's biased toward people who actually like Acton as it is! [with a few tweaks, like FIX THE LIGHTS and the SIDEWALKS, por favor!]

Anyway, we want to get information that is closer to reality about what people want in Acton.

So we decided to start our own survey.

This survey here is designed and sponsored by "just plain old folks", who live in Acton, who care about making sure that our affordable housing subsidies go to people who need the help the most, while being as environmentally and fiscally responsible as possible. The people who are sponsoring this survey are NOT connected to any construction industry activities. The people who sponsoring this survey are NOT members of any entities which have "new construction" as a mission.

AND AFTER YOU'RE DONE with the survey below, please take the "official" TownHall survey, but BEWARE, it's being done by a consultant who is paid to convince you to want more high density housing...to convince you that if we don't build more high density housing, we'll never get the businesses we want... Here is the link: http://www.acton-ma.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=874 To see what they are being paid to do, see this link: http://doc.acton-ma.gov/dsweb/Get/Document-61919/Housing%20and%20Economic%20Development%20Implementation%20Program%20RFP%20and%20Exhibit%201%20Attached%20-%20FINAL%202-1-18.pdf Please let us know you took the "official" survey!

More info: ActonActualAffordableHousing@gmail.com

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* 1. Do you want Acton to have more affordable housing? [[this is a warm  up question]]

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* 2. What type of additional affordable housing are you willing to "subsidize" to have more affordable housing in Acton? Subsidies are where dollars or other community assets of value (road capacity, school capacity, water, neighbors' property values) are contributed to help people who can't afford to pay market rate for housing. Check off what income level you want Acton's community resources to subsidize. [[NOTE: we provide an approximation HUD definitions next to each level for the Acton region]] [[Choose as many as you like, but NOTE: mathematically if you choose fewer categories, more "fixed asset" subsidies will go to those categories]]

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* 3. To get "more housing" to be "more affordable", which of the following do you prefer more? new construction? or convert existing buildings? [[NOTE: converting existing buildings would "deed restrict" them for lower income people]] [[new construction would require fixed assets like road capacity, school capacity, water capacity, and neighbor property values, to subsidize that new construction. Converting existing buildings would not require any additional burden on fixed assets]] [[FACT: almost 1/3 of Acton's housing units are apartments/condos]] [[WARNING! there may be some small increase in taxes to convert buildings to satisfy our social obligation to affordable housing to the neediest, but we believe that this will more than compensate for the cost by avoiding the cost burden on expensive fixed assets like capacity and property values.]]

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* 4. If new construction was the "only way" [it isn't, but just for this question] to get enough affordable housing, would you prefer to have [new or additional] high density housing in neighborhoods, including your own, or would you prefer to have development of all together in one place?  Any one of the following may get us to our "10%" eventually, if we do enough. But some say it's impossible. The larger ones are more likely to get us there. [[choose as many as you like, but note that the fewer you choose, the more "weight" your answer will have]]

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* 5. People in villages are complaining that the villages are get ting too crowded, unsafe, prone to flooding, etc. Acton Town Hall has been pushing "Smart Growth". "Smart growth" is an industry term which calls for encouraging development in villages to preserve open space in other parts of town. But Acton is developing more land than it is preserving. So "Smart Growth" hasn't worked as promised. Do you want to keep pushing development toward the same crowded neighborhoods? or do you think it's fairer/better to spread development out to all neighborhoods? Or maybe stop/slow development as much as possible? [[disclosure: this survey was developed by people living in the villages, feeling the pain, and looking for relief from the rest of y'all!]]

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* 6. Do you think that developers should be required to contribute to the open space fund? so that people who are building on the land will help us keep up with the # acres/person of public open space [[The Trust for Public Lands tells us that large cities have more land preserved per capita than Acton.]] Do you want developers to pay a share to help us catch up/keep up to urban standards for open space?

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* 7. If the state is going to sponsor a "high density" housing development in a neighborhood, do you think the neighbors should find out immediately? as soon as Town Hall staff hear about it? Currently, neighbors are not notified before it's "too late" to influence the size of the project. Construction proponents don't want earlier notification, because neighbors may try to get the plan changed. Neighbors love this idea, because they can weigh in before the engineering is done and it's too late. What do you think?

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* 8. Where do you live?

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* 9. Do you live in a village?

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* 10. Are you struggling to be able to afford to stay in Acton?

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