At its meeting on Monday, February 10, the Mashpee Affordable Housing Trust took another step forward in the development of a 39-unit affordable housing project at 950 Falmouth Road.
The trust unanimously authorized Town Manager Rodney C. Collins to execute an agreement between the town and the project’s co-developers, the Preservation of Affordable Housing, a national nonprofit organization; and Housing Assistance Corporation, a Cape Cod-based nonprofit. The co-developers were granted the project in May.
In November, the housing trust unanimously approved the Preservation of Affordable Housing’s plans for the development.
Town planner Evan Lehrer said he expects the agreement to be executed within the next month. The agreement will allow the co-developers to begin the permitting process to develop town-owned land.
Mr. Lehrer said, “From the town’s perspective, we have awarded the project to a qualified developer, whose responsibility it is now to put the financing in place and get the appropriate permitting.”
Mr. Lehrer said that, considering the permitting process that lies ahead, there is still a few years of work to be done before there are shovels in the ground.
The developers must go before the town’s zoning board of appeals to obtain a Chapter 40B comprehensive zoning permit, a tax-credited permit. The co-developers also need to procure from the town a 99-year ground lease for the property.
Mr. Lehrer said that during the process of granting the rights to the project, he was able to contact references who had worked with the Preservation of Affordable Housing in the past. He said these references affirmed that the Preservation of Affordable Housing has a history of developing strong relationships with abutters and other local stakeholders during the permitting process.
Mr. Lehrer said that the agreement that the town manager is now authorized to execute will not lease the land to the developers. Rather, the agreement identifies when and how that lease will be drawn and when the financing for the lease can be procured.
The 39-unit project will have 13 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units.
All of the units will come with income restrictions, ranging from units reserved for residents who earn less than 30 percent of the median income, to units reserved for residents who earn less than 70 percent of the median income.
Mr. Lehrer said the project will be the most significant increase in affordable housing that Mashpee has seen “in a long time.”
He said that about 5.2 percent of housing in Mashpee qualifies as affordable housing.
In contrast, according to minutes from the March 4 meeting of the Affordable Housing Trust, there are 2,845 low-income families in Mashpee, representing about 40 percent of Mashpee’s population. Low-income families are defined as earning between 50 and 80 percent of the median income.
“We’re really excited about this project,” Mr. Lehrer said. “There is still a long way to go to meet the needs of the town. But, it will be nice to get a good stock of affordable housing.”