Affordable housing proponents across Cape Cod banded together over the last few weeks to amplify advertisements for lottery applications for two affordable units in North Falmouth. The result was 21 applications, many turned in hours before the deadline on October 11.
Over the last week and a half, staff at Maloney Properties, the Boston-based firm running the housing lottery, has been reviewing applications to make sure each one has all the necessary components.
Fourteen of those applications fit local preference guidelines, said John Costello, Maloney Properties’ affordable housing manager. “Local preference” applications are filed by applicants who live in Falmouth, work in town, or have children attending school in Falmouth.
The majority of the other applications came from nearby Cape Cod towns, including Barnstable and Hyannis, Mr. Costello said. He received one application from someone who lives out of state, he said, but that person previously lived in Falmouth and is looking to move back.
“We are happy with the turnout that we got,” Mr. Costello said.
The units are part of The Village at Old Main, an eight-unit housing development. The market-rate condos are selling for more than $700,000, but both affordable three-bedroom condos are listed at $232,584. Each unit comes with a $157 monthly condominium association fee. The development is located along the Shining Sea Bikeway and within a mile of North Falmouth Elementary School, North Falmouth Library, and Wild Harbor General Store. It is near parks and beaches, as well.
Affordable housing lotteries offer a 60-day application period. The period for both condos opened August 12. Just over two weeks before the deadline, Maloney Properties had not received a single application. In response, affordable housing proponents worked to spread the word. Applications were made available for pick-up at the Falmouth Housing Authority. Members of the housing authority also mailed a copy to state family housing units, in case any of those families were considering buying an affordable home.
Flyers were posted in community centers and libraries in nearby towns. The Falmouth Housing Trust advertised the lottery on its Facebook page and sent emails to its list of contacts. Maloney Properties advertised the lottery twice in local papers. It sent out email notices to more than 20,000 contacts and created targeted Facebook advertisements. It also used a multi-listing service to ensure the units were listed on several real estate pages.
Mr. Costello noted housing lottery applications require a significant amount of paperwork, which has been a barrier for prospective applicants in the past. The application requires a letter of pre-approval for a mortgage, copies of the applicant’s tax returns for the past three years, five consecutive pay stubs, and evidence of all assets. An applicant’s assets could not be higher than $75,000.
Applicants could not make more than 80 percent of the area median income, which means earnings were capped at $51,250 for a single person household, $58,600 for a two-person household, $65,900 for a three-person household and $73,200 for a four-person household.
The development has been in the works since 2016. Michael Solimando Jr. received a comprehensive permit from the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals in January 2016 to construct an eight-unit 40B development. Two of the condominiums were to be income-restricted. A year later, Mr. Solimando transferred ownership to Northland Residential Corporation, which sought to complete the project as permitted. Plans called for three new duplexes to the rear of the property, rehabilitation of one existing single-family home on Old Main Road and construction of one new single-family home on Old Main Road.
Construction is ongoing at the Old Main Road cul-de-sac.
The housing lotteries for both condos will be held Tuesday, October 29, at 1 PM in the Falmouth Public Library, Mr. Costello said.
Based on the outcome of the lottery, applicants will be given numbers that relate to their position in line for each unit. The process then continues on as if the applicants were normal home buyers, Mr. Costello said. They tour the houses, confirm that they want to move forward, and conduct a home inspection.
Mr. Costello added that he is “pretty confident” that out of 21 applicants, Maloney Properties will be able to find two to fill the units.