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Few ‘affordable’ apartments are family-sized

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A lottery next month for apartments designated as “affordable” in Arlington is expected to draw many more applications than there are available spots. But families with children may have an especially tough time snagging an affordable unit that meets their needs.

The vast majority of affordable units at Arlington 360, a hilltop development opening at the site of the former Symmes Hospital, have two or fewer bedrooms. And the case is similar at other rental complexes west of Boston.

Housing advocates say developers seeking to build rental housing often face resistance to larger apartments, because cities and towns want to limit the number of schoolchildren in the complexes, thus also limiting additional costs to the town.

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