Resident Voices Concerns on Housing Issues in Town

Londonderry Resident Pauline Caron called for a moratorium on any future workforce housing projects “until the town takes inventory of what it has.”

“Seniors can’t find affordable housing in Londonderry and are moving out of town,” Caron told the Town Council at their Monday night meeting.

Caron said new developments that have been approved boasting price tags in the range of $300,000 “are not affordable for seniors.”

“In March 2013, the Town accepted the new Master Plan. I think the Master Plan should be reviewed and all areas should be revised in accordance with the Master Plan,” she said. “The ‘Workforce Housing Statute’ says municipalities should take inventories of work housing units available. Not only apartments, but buildings themselves for sale. It’s time Londonderry take inventory of what it has.”

“I don’t disagree with that,” said Town Councilor John Farrell, adding it’s his understanding that the law requires the Town take inventory of affordable housing that is available annually, and does so around January.

Farrell asked Town Manager Kevin Smith if he would look into ensuring such an inventory is being done and told Caron, “We’ll find out and get back to you.”

Caron went on to express concern that Zoning variances have been granted too loosely to developers.

“We have Zoning ordinances and we have them there for a reason. They should be the law of the land for Londonderry,” she said. “They shouldn’t be granted willy-nilly. If they need to be revised, they can be revised.”

Farrell told Caron the Town is “in the process of looking at all zoning ordinances currently.”

Councilor Tom Freda said he is hesitant to make any suggestions to the Planning or Zoning Boards as they are quasi-judicial boards and “should be hands-off.”

“I’m not asking anyone to do anything about it, I’m just letting you know,” Caron said.

Smith told Caron there is a senior housing project before the Planning Board that is expected to be more affordable.

Smith said the developer has agreed to work with the Town and that there is a clear understanding of what is affordable for seniors.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter