Local Initiative Program

The Local Initiative Program (LIP) is a Massachusetts program and was established in 1990 in response to a report by a special legislative commission which found that state law defined low and moderate-income housing as "any housing subsidized by the federal or state government under any program to assist the construction of low or moderate-income housing."

This definition had previously been interpreted to mean financial subsidies only. As a result, cities and towns had little incentive to undertake housing initiatives which did not require direct state or federal assistance but which are otherwise within the intent of M.G.L. Ch. 40B. LIP allows the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide technical assistance that qualifies as a "subsidy." The LIP may also issue a site eligibility letter for a project, a prerequisite for a developer to apply for a Comprehensive Permit.

Unlike conventional housing subsidy programs, in which a state or federal agency must approve every aspect of financing, design and construction, LIP allows most of these decisions to be made by the municipality. LIP regulations and guidelines address those program components that must be reviewed and approved by DHCD. For example, incomes of households served, fair marketing, profit limitation and establishing long-term affordability for the units which are built.

The MCDA oversees 32 LIP homes in Marlborough which count towards its 40B allocation.