Cambridge's 100% Affordable Housing Overlay has been actively in the works for two years, and passed on October 5th. The proposal--initially coming out of the Envision Cambridge effort--provides a less restrictive set of zoning requirements for housing that is income-restricted in perpetuity.
September 26th, 2018: Affordable Housing Overlay is included as one of three tools for increasing affordable housing production in an Envision Cambridge Public Meeting. (Presentation) This presentation was later shared by CDD at local neighborhood group meetings.
October 22nd, 2018: Envision Cambridge housing proposals are covered at the City Council Roundtable working group.
October 29th, 2018: The Council asks the City Manager to instruct CDD to create a timeline for the implementation of the Affordable Housing Overlay.
March 5th, 2019: CDD presents the Affordable Housing Overlay to the Housing Comittee
March 20th, March 28th, April 16th, April 25th, 2019: Additional Housing Committee meetings on the Affordable Housing Overlay. At the April 25th meeting, the language was forwarded to the Ordinance Committee.
July 2nd, 2019: Affordable Housing Overlay discussed at Ordinance Committee.
August 1st, August 8th, August 13th: Further discussion on the Affordable Housing Overlay in the Ordinance Committee.
September 3rd, 2019: Ordinance Committee sends Affordable Housing Overlay back to the Cambridge City Council.
September 9th, 2019: City Council tables Affordable Housing Overlay.
November 5th, 2019: City Council election; Jan Devereux retires and Craig Kelley loses his seat, with Patty Nolan and Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler joining the Council. (Sobrinho-Wheeler's platform included support for the Affordable Housing Overlay.)
February 25th, 2020: Affordable Housing Overlay re-introduced by Councillor McGovern in new council. (This petition expired as a result of COVID preventing meetings.)
June 10th, 2020: Affordable Housing Overlay re-submitted, referred from Council to Ordinance Committee.
July 8th, 2020: Ordinance Committee hears public comment on the Affordable Housing Overlay; meeting is continued.
August 19th, 2020: Ordinance Committee considers amendments to the Affordable Housing Overlay, votes 7-1 to refer back to City Council.
September 14th, 2020: City Council voted 7-2 to pass the Affordable Housing Overlay to a second reading.
October 5th, 2020: City Council voted 7-2 to ordain the Affordable Housing Overlay.