PEPPERELL -- A plan to bolster affordable housing availability in Pepperell is under consideration by the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board, but at least one official has doubts.

Both boards have delayed a vote on the plan until a future meeting, saying they needed more time to review the document.

The plan, which was developed by the North Middlesex Council of Governments in conjunction with the town's Affordable Housing Committee, acts as five-year blueprint to move toward a goal of having 10 percent of the town's housing options be affordable.

Currently, Pepperell is at 3 percent affordable housing, requiring 305 additional units to meet that goal.

At the April 14 Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectman Michael Green questioned whether Pepperell needs more affordable housing.

He cited the Emerson Village community, which he said has four or five affordable housing units that have gone unsold for more than one year.

"Right now we have units in Emerson Village that are not selling and it doesn't make sense for me to support something that seemingly requires us to ask more of those to be built," Green said.

Jay Donovan, assistant director at NMCOG, said that operational issues could be addressed with individual developments.

"If there are some issues of not being able to have enough of a market to pull from in terms of people that meet the income requirements, that's something we could work with you on.


That doesn't mean there aren't more people out there with lower incomes who need housing," Donovan said.

The plan must be approved by both the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board before being submitted to the state.

In May, both boards will revisit the document and vote on whether to adopt the plan.