U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development
The city of Attleboro, Massachusetts is located in the southwestern part of the State, near
Rhode Island in Bristol County. This summary of Attleboro's Consolidated Plan briefly
describes the needs identified in the Plan, long-term strategies for addressing those needs,
and key projects that will be carried out in 1995.
To implement its Consolidated Plan in 1995, Attleboro expects to receive $606,000 in
Community Development Block Grant funds, which will be spent mainly on housing
rehabilitation. To continue the city's first-time homebuyers program, the city has $87,000
remaining from its FY94 State HOME award. In addition the city has $20,000 in program
income available. The city also plans to spend $11,395,000 of its own revenue on
infrastructure improvements, public safety, planning, and recreational and other public
The city sponsored four public hearings on the draft and final Consolidated Plan and offered
a 30-day comment period on the final plan. Copies of the draft plan were available for
review at the main and branch libraries, the city clerk's office, and Community Development
for Attleboro (CDA).
Notices regarding the consolidated plan, including preparation and availability, were sent to
those who regularly receive notice of CDBG funding availability. Notices of public hearings
were published in the Sun Chronicle. These notices were also made available at the city's
government center and public library. The summary of the city's proposed Consolidated Plan
was published in April, 1995 in the Sun Chronicle.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
According to the 1990 census, the city's minority population accounts for 10.8 percent of
the city's total population (African Americans 1.0 percent, Hispanics 2.9 percent, Asians
2.4 percent, other races/ethnic groups 4.5 percent). The minority population represents
almost 8 percent of all rental households in the city, and the largest concentrations of
minority households are in the central city area. There are about 3,110 elderly households in
Attleboro, of which 62 percent are homeowners.
Attleboro has seen growth in the low-income population. The decrease in available money to
support housing has led to disinvestment and bank foreclosures in some neighborhoods of
the city. Attleboro is also experiencing growth in populations that require special needs,
including the frail elderly, the homeless, victims of domestic violence, and persons with
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
Changes in the housing market and economic decline have contributed to the disinvestment
in some of the city's housing stock, particularly rental housing. Attleboro's downtown
business district is suffering some of the same woes of other communities. Small
businesses, most of which were retail, have closed as a result of a new shopping mall and
several mini-mall strips. Foot traffic downtown has decreased, hurting the remaining
Housing problems (overcrowding, affordability, or inadequate conditions) affect about three-quarters of extremely low- and very low-income households (0-30 percent of median family income [MFI]) and over half of low-income households (31-50 percent MFI).
Overcrowding doesn't appear to be as significant a housing problem as is affordability,
which will be discussed later. Only 4 percent of renters and over 1 percent of all owners live
in overcrowded conditions. Overcrowding is much more significant among large household
renters than any other group. Of all large households, one-third live in overcrowded units. Of
the extremely low- and very low-income large households, half live in overcrowded
conditions, and half of low-income households live in overcrowded units. In 1990, 2,317
housing units in Attleboro were substandard, of which 70 percent were rental units.
Housing Market Conditions
According to the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) Databook, Attleboro
had 15,629 year-round housing units, of which 91 percent were occupied. Of the occupied
units, 8,699 were owner-occupied and 5,481 were renter-occupied. Of all rental units, 35
percent have zero or one bedroom, 44 percent have two bedrooms, and 21 percent have
three or more bedrooms.
The physical condition of most of the city's housing is generally good, but 40 percent of the
units were built prior to 1950. Renovation and rehabilitation of these units will continue to
In a recent issue of the Sun Chronicle, one-bedroom apartments were renting for an average
of $425, $525 for two-bedroom units, and $635 for a three-bedroom apartment. The city
assessor's office reports that sale prices of single family homes are increasing. The average
sale price of a single-family home in 1992 was $114,000 and in 1994 the average price
Affordable Housing Needs
The most common housing problem in Attleboro is affordability. According to the CHAS
Databook, 36 percent of all renters pay greater than 30 percent of their income for housing,
and almost 14 percent pay more than 50 percent.
Of all extremely low- and very low-income households, 60 percent of renters and 74 percent
of homeowners pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. For low-income
households, this is true for 64 percent of renters and 53 percent of homeowners. Moderate-income households (51-80 percent of MFI) fare slightly better, with 51 percent of renters and 41 of homeowners experiencing this housing cost burden. Smaller rental families tend
to be worse off than large rental families, except in terms of overcrowding. Among the
3,110 elderly households in Attleboro, 80 percent of homeowners pay more than 30
percent of their income for housing.
First-time homebuyers have a growing need for assistance. The rise in housing costs will no
doubt affect the numbers of potential homebuyers. This is particularly true of first-time
homebuyers many of whom are young families with limited incomes.
According to the 1990 census, there were 23 homeless persons in Attleboro, all of whom
were being served by emergency shelters, and most of whom were victims of domestic
violence. According to other sources, there is not a large unsheltered homeless population in
the city. But existing shelter facilities are always filled to capacity. There is a need for more
transitional housing and more opportunities for affordable permanent housing, especially for
families with children.
The Family Resource Center is the only family shelter operating in Attleboro. It can
accommodate seven families. Since it opened in 1985, it has served 491 families. The
average stay of a family is 90 days. The Coalition for the Homeless provides emergency
short-term housing for the single individuals at a local motel or rooming house. The New
Hope Shelter serves battered women and their children; it provided housing for 196 women
and their children last year. Environmentally Substance-Free Housing is available for single
adults who are trying to remain substance free. One house has 12 rooms and another has 9
Public and Assisted Housing Needs
The Attleboro Housing Authority (AHA) owns 431 units of public housing at 9
developments. This includes 319 elderly/disabled units (10 of which are handicapped units)
and 112 family units. There are no vacancies in AHA's inventory. There are 833 persons on
the AHA family housing waiting list. Of these 288 are Attleboro families and the remainder
are from other communities. Based on the turnover rate, it could take anywhere from 5 to 7
years for units to become available. The waiting list for elderly units has 128 names.
Everyone on this list should be provided housing within 3 to 6 months.
AHA administers 61 tenant-based assistance certificates from the Massachusetts Rental
Voucher Program. It also administers 10 project-based State rental vouchers that serve as
subsidies for clients under the care of the Department of Mental Health in privately-owned
housing. AHA also administers 50 Section 8 regular certificates and 38 Section 8 mobile
The city will conduct an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice within the
jurisdiction and take appropriate actions to overcome the effects of any impediments
identified through that analysis.
Based on the 1990 census, 6,337 housing units in Attleboro are likely to contain lead-based
paint, of which 5,481 are rental units. Most of these units are in the more densely
populated neighborhoods of the city where a majority of very low-, low- and moderate-income families live. According to the latest information from the Commonwealth's
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, 4 out of 1,470 Attleboro children tested
were found to have lead poisoning.
To prevent lead poisoning, the city encourages participants in the CDBG program to include
lead-based paint abatement in the rehabilitation of their older properties if the presence of
lead-based paint is identified. The city's Community Development office is also a
Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency participating agency in the "Get the Lead Out"
Program. This program includes owner-occupied single-family and owner-occupied two to
four unit buildings. Attleboro participates in the new Expanded Lead Paint Abatement Loan
Program, which offers low-interest loans for investor-owned multifamily units.
Community Development Needs
The city identified five general nonhousing needs: social services for various low-income
populations, improving the accessibility of public buildings, stimulating economic
development and opportunities for employment, infrastructure improvements, and
rehabilitation of several public facilities.
To obtain a wide range of viewpoints for the Consolidated Plan, CDA staff met with or
contacted a number of agencies and city departments, including Bristol Elder Services,
Versa Care; New Hope, Inc., the Department of Public Welfare, Attleboro Enterprises,
Attleboro Association of Retarded Citizens, United Way INFO Line, Comprehensive Social
Services, Attleboro Area Coalition for the Homeless, the city's Planning Department, and its
Health and Veterans Services Departments.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Vision for Change
The city acknowledges that the proposed strategies will not alleviate all housing conditions
but will allow the city to continue relevant programs and generate new initiatives to address
known problems. Over the next 5 years, the city wants to provide decent housing, a
suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities to as many residents as
The following are long-term housing priorities for Attleboro:
- Principal Reductions Grants to property owners for the rehabilitation of
substandard housing. The owners must agree to lease the units in their
properties to eligible low-income households at affordable rents after
- Financial resources for first-time homebuyers to acquire and rehabilitate
foreclosed properties. As a secondary strategy, the city will provide
homebuyer assistance and will work with financial institutions to devise
programs to help households obtain mortgages to purchase the rehabilitated
- Support appropriate nonprofit providers in seeking assistance from State and
Federal programs for nonhomeless people with special needs.
- Procuring of additional Section 8 vouchers.
- Funding services for the homeless, including temporary shelter.
Nonhousing Community Development Priorities
Attleboro has identified the following priority nonhousing community development priorities:
- Social services. Services to be funded include assistance to the homeless,
training and outreach activities to the nonEnglish speaking population, and
outreach to at-risk youth and their families.
- Handicapped accessibility. Attleboro intends to make city-owned public
buildings fully accessible according the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Economic development. The city's goal is to stimulate economic development
by providing opportunities for employment, and by offering incentives to
business and industry to locate or expand in Attleboro.
- Infrastructure/public facilities. Planned infrastructure improvements include
streets, sidewalks, traffic signals, bridges, sewer, water, and waste disposal
systems. Public facilities to be improved include the fire station on the south
side of the city, the Water Pollution Control Facility, and recreational facilities
in the Read Street and Oakhill Avenue areas. Also, the city plans to open an
additional branch library.
To adequately reduce poverty in Attleboro, the city has determined that it must increase
economic activity, increase the supply of affordable housing, and provide job training
opportunities. Economic development and affordable housing have already been discussed,
but the city plans to pursue a number of job training options.
The city will rely on the Job Training Partnership Act to provide funding for training
programs, and the city will participate in the School to Work Act program and the
Southeastern Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership, which provides training funds to
small and mid-sized manufacturing firms.
Housing and Community Development Resources
From the State, Attleboro receives Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program housing
assistance and Commonwealth Chapter 90 funds for infrastructure improvements. The city
will also use its own funds for infrastructure and public facilities projects. Federal funds are
available from CDBG, HOME, and Section 8 tenant-based rental assistance.
Coordination of Strategic Plan
Community Development for Attleboro, Inc., (CDA), is the city's lead administrative agency
for the Consolidated Plan and for CDBG funds. They are a nonprofit private corporation,
with a board of directors appointed by the mayor and approved by the city's Municipal
Council. They have experience as well acquiring, rehabilitating, and providing for-sale and
rental housing to low- and moderate-income citizens. They will work closely with the
Attleboro Housing Authority to implement the housing strategies.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s) depicted.
ONE-YEAR ACTION PLAN
Description of Key Projects
To comment on Attleboro's Consolidated Plan, please contact William Spaner, Community
Development Director, or Sheila Tondreau at 508-226-8116. The fax number is 508-226-8175.
Return to Massachusetts' Consolidated Plans.