Community Housing Plan

In 2016-17, the City worked with the consulting team of Karen Sunnarborg and Abacus Architects to prepare a Community Housing Plan to help us better understand the City of Beverly's current and future housing needs. The plan provides up-to-date information on local housing issues, identifies housing needs, articulates a Citywide housing vision, and develops a strategy to provide a range of housing types that meet the needs of a wide variety of people living in, and looking to live in, Beverly. The plan addresses how best to invest local resources dedicated to housing, such as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and Community Preservation Funds.

Final Plan

View the full final product Beverly Community Housing Plan (PDF)

View an Executive Summary of the final plan Beverly Community Housing Plan Executive Summary

View a summary of the Beverly Community Housing Plan Strategies

Measuring Progress

Since adoption in 2017, the City has advanced the following strategies.  View the Housing Plan Recommendation Matrix. Please contact the Planning Department for more information. 


  • Create and operationalize the Beverly Affordable Housing Trust - Completed 2017
  • Modify the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance (including: lower eligibility threshold; introduce a broader/lower range of affordablity option; increase the fee-in-lieu payment by adjusting the calculation) - Completed 2017
  • Further opportunities for multi-family housing, mixed use, and transit-oriented development (by adopting a Chapter 40R Smart Growth Overlay District; by pursuing Bass River Overlay District rezoning) - Completed 2017 and ongoing

In Progress

  • Adopt Rezoning of the Bass River - Started in 2018 but took a pause to complete the Master Plan. Restarted public discussion in 2021.
  • Consider modifying the Accessory Apartment Ordinance (ADU). Together with MAPC, receved an EEA grant in fall 2020 to undertake a date driven ADU ordinance update and engagement project. Expected completion in 2022.  
  • Community outreach and engagement regarding housing needs is ongoing through other plannign processes such as the Climate Action Plan, the Bass River Overlay zoning, etc. 
  • Continue to monitor and intervene as appropriate on any properties where affordablity status is at risk of disappearing. 
  • Planning Department continues to support and help guide smaller-scale infill housing projects in other neighborhoods that are designed well and in context with neighborhodds. 

Draft Plan Materials

Initially, the consulting team completed a full and comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment (PDF), which can be downloaded below separately (but is incorporated into the final plan). This document provides a detailed analysis of data and conditions affecting housing affordability. The assessment helps the community identify what type of housing is needed in Beverly and strategies to consider in meeting those needs.

Access a Glossary of Housing Terms (PDF) which may be useful.

Public Surveys

At the November 2nd meeting, the City asked attendees to vote for their top 5 proposed strategies. We gave everyone the opportunity to weigh-in by asking the same questions online. Those rankings were considered in crafting the final plan.

The City also conducted an initial web-based survey to gauge areas of interest to the public, in July 2016. View a Summary of the Housing Survey Results (PDF) for the initial survey.

Public Forums

The City held a second public forum on November 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm at Briscoe Middle School auditorium. The meeting consisted of a presentation by the consultant and the opportunity to review and receive public feedback on possible strategies, including hands-on exercises with the public.

Look through the November 2nd Housing Plan Presentation (PDF).

City Council Presentation

The Planning Director also made a presentation to the City Council at their October 17th meeting, during which he introduced suggested strategies. Video of the meeting is available on BevCam and the Housing Plan Council Presentation (PDF).

First Public Forum

The first public forum, held Thursday June 16, 2016, was an opportunity for residents, housing-related agencies, and other stakeholders to hear what the consulting team has learned so far about shifts in demographic and housing trends in Beverly. Attendees shard their perspective on the City's future housing agenda.