Citizen Survey Results
Survey of Manchester Residents Shows Strong Opposition to Proposed 40B Affordable Housing Development Plan. Environmental, Water Supply, Traffic Among Top Concerns.
Majority of Respondents’ Favor Process Slowdown for More Information, Discussion
Manchester by the Sea, MA, January 25, 2021- The Citizens’ Initiative for Affordable Housing (CIMAH) today released the results of a survey of Manchester residents concerning their views on the proposed 40B affordable housing development. The results demonstrate that a sizable majority strongly oppose a plan put forward by Strategic Land Ventures, LLC , a private developer from Needham, to build 157 rental units on heavily-wooded Shingle Place Hill off School Street just north of Route 128. The survey was commissioned by CIMAH and conducted by an independent market research firm during December 2020. Responses were received from over 500 residents, constituting more than 20% of Manchester households and 12% of the population.
Key findings of the survey include:
85% of respondents stated that they are very much or somewhat opposed to the 40B plan proposed by the private developer.
Respondents are very or somewhat concerned about environmental impacts (97%), the town water supply (94%) and traffic increases (92%).
Majorities favor slowing down the process to allow for discussion and debate at April’s town meeting ( 81%).
66% of respondents stated that they are strongly or somewhat opposed to the Town’s initial strategy to work toward a ‘friendly 40B’ agreement with the developer, which could result in an endorsement of the developer’s plan as early as February or March.
Strong opposition is consistent across different ages, income levels, and years of residence. Residents are strongly opposed whether or not they have children in Manchester public schools.
Majorities of respondents are not well-informed about the proposed 40B project (61%) and about affordable housing in Manchester overall ( 71%).
“The taxpayers of Manchester have made clear that they have real concerns about the private developer plan to build 157 rental units near and through the environmentally sensitive wetlands of Cedar Swamp and Sawmill Brook,” said Bill Cross of CIMAH. “It is important that Manchester have affordable housing to enhance our vibrant community but there are environmental, water and traffic concerns that must be carefully considered by the town and the Board of Selectmen before a decision is made.”
CIMAH is a group of concerned Manchester residents committed to incorporating more affordable housing to enhance our vibrant community. CIMAH believes that families find better health, more financial independence, and stability when they have housing that meets their economic circumstances.
CIMAH supports incorporating additional affordable housing in a sustainable way that integrates units into the fabric of the community.
The survey of adult residents of Manchester opened December 2, 2020 and was conducted by Resonance Insights, a national market research firm. The survey has a statistical error rate of +/- 2.5%.