The developers have good reason to spend so much money protecting 40B, it is their cash cow. Inspector General Gregory Sullivan estimated that more than $100,000,000 was owed back to cities and towns in 40B fraud. In order to protect their cash cow, those who support Chapter 40B will be putting out a series of misleading statements and attempting to disguise their “money machine” as a system that produces much of the state’s affordable housing.
Unfortunately, this is simply not true. In fact, over the last ten years, Chapter 40B has produced an average of less than one affordable unit per community, according to the state’s own numbers.
However, Chapter 40B is responsible for almost 35% of all new housing statewide each year. Another way of stating these facts is that Chapter 40B has produced virtually no real affordable housing, yet produced tens of thousands of market-rate units, using public money that SHOULD be spent on real affordable housing. This is quite a stark contrast from what 40B supporters would have you believe.
But how is this possible? How can the numbers be so different? Surely someone must be fudging the numbers, right? Right. State regulations allow for many non-affordable units to be counted as affordable. For example, if a 40B project is a rental development, they are able to call all of the units “affordable” even though in reality, 80% of the units are NON-affordable. The regulations also allow for the manipulation of statistics. For example, in many communities a $250,000 40B condo is considered “affordable”, but the $175,000 condo down the street is not.
Those who support and regulate Chapter 40B are so greedy that repealing the law is the only way to create real affordable housing and change our status as one of the least-affordable states in the country.