NEW: MBTA zoning technical assistance & MHP's Complete Neighborhoods Initiative. MORE

The Housing Development Process

As with any large and complex undertaking, bringing a housing development to life requires both a big-picture vision and attention to detail. Housing development is usually described as having four major phases: Concept, Predevelopment, Construction, and Lease-up/Occupancy and Ongoing Operations.

This section of the toolbox details these major phases of the development process, and further breaks down the process in relation to the role a municipality will play in initiating an affordable development.

For purposes of this toolbox, this guide assumes that publicly-owned land (by the municipality) is going to be used for affordable housing. This could be existing owned land, or land that the municipality acquires. Therefore we include specific information on how a municipality can evaluate potential sites and how to conduct the Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Of course, much of the process would be the same for privately-owned land and/or private affordable housing development.

This guide is divided into the following sections:

1. Creating a Development Strategy (information gathering)

2. Finding a site

3. Predevelopment and site assessment

4. Developing a Request for Proposals (RFP) & selecting a developer

5. Construction*

6. Occupancy and ongoing operations*

7. The municipality’s ongoing role

*Note that in order to support a more complete understanding of the process of developing affordable housing, information about the construction, occupancy, and ongoing operations phases is included. It is highly unlikely that a municipality would be involved in all of these phases.

While the information provided here will serve as a useful guide for the development process in your community, MHP always recommends that you check with town legal counsel regarding any of the actions described.