Watertown has started a trust to help fund the development of affordable housing as the community grapples with climbing home prices across the city.
Under state law, the Watertown Affordable Housing Trust is allowed to set aside funds to buy property or preserve existing affordable housing, according to a city statement announcing the trust.
George Proakis, Watertown’s city manager and a member of the new trust’s board, said in an interview the fund will be an important tool for dealing with soaring housing costs facing many of the city’s residents.
“We have a substantial housing challenge in our entire region,” Proakis said. “We as a whole are committed to making sure that we can stretch the money we have … to provide more opportunities [for] stable housing.”
The trust will oversee Watertown’s affordable housing funds, including money from the WestMetro HOME Consortium and the federally funded Community Development Block Grant program, according to the city. The trust also will advocate for affordable housing, serve as a policy body on those issues, and provide advice to city officials on housing.