About the Plan

The South Hadley Housing Production Plan (HPP) is a planning process that will guide the next five years of housing policy and development in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The plan will produce analysis of South Hadley’s housing needs, housing stock, and housing market, as well as its local housing policies, the Town’s zoning bylaw, and more. Meanwhile, the process will convene members of the public to discuss the community’s unique housing needs, set local housing goals, and weigh potential strategies to achieve those goals.

The Planning and Conservation Department is leading the process in the community, with assistance from planning and design firms Outwith Studio and Utile. The plan was funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The process kicked off in summer 2022 and will run through fall 2023, when a completed planning document will be submitted for adoption by the Select Board and Planning Board, as well as approval by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

Housing Production Plan Advisory Committee

Anne Capra, Director Planning and Conservation
acapra@southhadleyma.gov | (413) 538-5017 x6128

Nate TherienPlanning Board
Brad HutchisonPlanning Board
Carol ConstantSelectboard
Diane LaRocheRedevelopment Authority
Helen FantiniRedevelopment Authority
Bridgette SullivanHousing Authority
Tay SilvieraCommission on Disabilities
Ann AndrasCouncil on Aging
Naomi DarlingResident at Large
Anne CapraDirector Planning and Conservation


The planning process was initially set to run through May 2023. In order to maximize public review and input, the timeline was extended through November 2023.

Schedule of Remaining Milestones

6/22Community Forum #2  
6/26 – 7/16Extended Community Forum Public Comment Period  
7/17-7/28Draft HPP Compiled  
7/29 – 8/18Draft HPP submitted to Advisory Committee and Planning Board for review  
8/14Planning Board Meeting – Presentation by Consultant on HPP highlights, comments from Board; Invite Advisory Committee for discussion (post joint meeting)  
8/19-8/27Draft Plan edits by Consultant (June McCartin, Outwith Studio)  
8/28Final Draft HPP issued for public comment (60 -day comment period)  
9/13 (TBD) 3rd Community Forum  
9/25Draft HPP Public Hearing  
10/16Draft HPP Public Hearing continuation (TBD)
10/2560 -day Public Comment Period ends  
10/25-11/8HPP revisions by Consultant  
11/8Final HPP issued  
DecemberJoint Selectboard & Planning Board Meeting for adoption  

What is a Housing Production Plan?

A Housing Production Plan (HPP) is a special, regulated type of plan that towns and cities in Massachusetts can undertake to proactively guide housing in their community. The form of an HPP is set out in M.G.L. Chapter 40B (often known as the state’s Affordable Housing law), and HPPs must be approved by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Though an HPP must discuss Affordable Housing specifically, it can also address other housing issues that are relevant to the community.

An HPP must include:

  • A comprehensive housing needs and demand assessment
  • An analysis of housing development constraints and opportunities
  • Housing goals and specific housing strategies
  • Numeric targets for Affordable Housing production

A town may pursue an HPP to influence the type and location of new housing, to address growing affordability concerns facing residents, to address the unmet housing needs of specific populations like seniors or new homebuyers, or to prevent unwanted Chapter 40B development.

This planning process is an update to the 2016 Housing Production Plan.

What does this have to do with 40B development?

All Massachusetts towns and cities are subject to M.G.L. Chapter 40B, which states that if less than 10% of a town’s housing is deed-restricted Affordable Housing, then mixed-income housing developers can seek development permissions through a “comprehensive permit.” Comprehensive permit developments, sometimes called 40B developments, can ignore most local development-related laws, such as zoning. Sometimes a town uses comprehensive permits to meet targeted housing goals (this is sometimes called a “Friendly 40B”), but often comprehensive permit developments are unwanted.

If communities wish to avoid unwanted 40B developments, they can try to achieve “safe harbor.” One way to get “safe harbor” is by adopting an HPP, having that plan approved by the state, begin permitting Affordable Housing to meet specific incremental targets, and apply for “certification” by the state. In this way, an HPP is the first important step in proactive control of future housing by the community.