Can’t town staff and town meeting perform these functions now?

Yes, however many of the activities listed above require a lengthy process which currently requires further Town Meeting action. By establishing a housing trust the trust is able to buy and sell property without waiting for a Town Meeting to be scheduled - often, real estate opportunities that would preserve and create affordable housing are highly time-sensitive. It would operate in a similar fashion to the procedure used to acquire open space in the community. Town meeting voted more than 30 years ago to allow the Town Manager to negotiate and acquire open space without further Town Meeting action as long as the parcels were listed in the Town's Open Space and Recreation Plan. Through the years this has allowed for the acquisition of many parcels in a timely fashion without further approval from Town Meeting.

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1. Why is the creation of a local housing trust a benefit to the community?
2. What financial oversight of the trust will be required?
3. Are meetings of the trust subject to the open meeting law?
4. What controls the limits of the Trust’s authority?
5. What is the term of office for the trustees of the Housing Trust?
6. Who would appoint members to the housing trust?
7. Who would be members of the trust?
8. Can’t town staff and town meeting perform these functions now?
9. What funds can be used in a local housing trust?
10. Will the trust’s activities (including potential borrowing or property purchase) have the potential to negatively affect the Town, the Towns financial stability, bond rating or borrowing capacity?
11. What is the advantage to creating a local housing trust when we already have the Danvers Housing Authority?
12. What can a local housing trust do?