Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

HAC Celebrates Completion of Mashpee's Great Cove Community

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, May 08, 2014 @ 04:23 PM

describe the imageThe ribbon cutting at Great Cove Community with Rufus Phillips (from left) of the Property and Casualty Initiative, Nancy McCafferty of Mass Housing Partnership, Leila Botsford of the Mashpee Housing Authority, HAC CEO Rick Presbrey and Mashpee Town Manager Joyce Mason. 

Constructing affordable housing units is never easy, but it is always worth it.

The Great Cove Community in Mashpee, is a perfect example. In 2001 the first feasibility study for the proposed housing development took place. Thirteen years later the project was completed, bringing 10 affordable rental units to the Upper Cape.

Rick Presbrey, CEO of HAC, said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the development last month that time should be taken to acknowledge the efforts that went into making the project a success. “First we are celebrating the accomplishment here today which is a big deal because these things take years, literally years to do,” he said.

By all estimates the wait was well worth it as the close to two dozen people who attended the event – Mashpee Town Manager Joyce Mason; Chair of the Mashpee Board of Selectmen John Cahalane; Leila Botsford, executive director of the Mashpee Housing Authority; and Nancy McCafferty of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, were among the notables – were impressed with the quality craftsmanship that went into the townhouse units.

Consisting of eight 2-bedroom units and two 3-bedroom units, Presbrey commented on their attractiveness. “It’s not too cramped and the inside of the units is finished exceptionally well,” he said. “I think the thing you noticed is the flooring, the colors of the wall, and the kitchen cabinets are really, really fantastically appealing… What has happened here is we have the right builder in The Valle Group that will not lower their standards for something like this.”

Of the units seven will be filled by Mashpee families. And eight of the 10 will be dedicated to those who earn 30 percent of the area median income or less.

Great Cove was funded and built through a collaboration of multiple local and regional agencies including the Mashpee Housing Authority, the town of Mashpee, HAC, the Cape Cod Commission and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

DSC 0062 resized 600The builder, engineer and architect: Christian Valle from The Valle Group, Brian Kuchar of Horsley Witten and Rick Fenuccio of Fenuccio & Raber Architects. 

The Yarmouth Port-based firm of Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio & Raber Architects designed the units with The Valle Group of Falmouth, constructing them and Horsley Witten Group serving as the civil engineer and landscape architects.

Located on Breezy Way off Old Barnstable Road the development is located a few hundred yards away from Mashpee High School which provided an additional benefit to the town. “One of the really unique elements of this project is not only does it increase the affordable housing stock on Cape Cod, but with the unique partnership the town was able to improve the water quality as well by connecting the wastewater discharge of this project to the existing high school,” Brian Kuchar of Horsley Witten said.

As to how badly the project was needed, Presbrey told those in attendance that during a lottery held the week before 112 people came out hoping to move into one of the apartments. “From the point of view of a developer that is good,” he said. “From the point of view of a citizen of Cape Cod, it’s not good.”

Paul Ruchinskas of the Cape Cod Commission piggybacked on that idea later in the ceremony, highlighting the need for more developments like this on Cape Cod. “Massachusetts is one of the highest priced states [for homes] in the country and our wages are lower. All this century the average wage here is 30 to 35 percent lower than the rest of the state,” he said, noting that is why every affordable unit on Cape Cod is “vitally important not only for the 10 families living here and having safe, secure housing, but it’s also important to maintain the economic and social diversity of the Cape so that our workforce can continue to live here.”

Tags: HAC, Great Cove Community, Rick Presbrey, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Mashpee, Joyce Mason

Great Cove Community: Affordable Housing

Posted by Julie Wake on Mon, Mar 17, 2014 @ 07:30 PM

Great Cove Community

The dream of creating affordable housing has become a reality for the Mashpee Housing Authority.  Since October of 2011 when Gov. Patrick announced that HAC would receive the funding needed to build additional units at the Breezy Acres family public housing development, it has been full steam ahead.  “We’re really excited to build this community for Mashpee Housing Authority and the Town of Mashpee.  It has been a wonderful and collaborative effort,” said Adrienne Danner project manager in HAC’s Housing Development Department.

HAC worked with the housing authority to develop ten new townhome rental units consisting of eight 2-bedrooms and two 3-bedrooms.  The townhomes are designed to easily integrate with six existing units, creating a sense of community with communal outdoor spaces.  The environmentally friendly design leaves a large portion of the site undisturbed to provide as much open space as possible.

“We are very pleased to be serving, once again, as the Project Architects for HAC on such an important community-housing development as Great Cove.  With each new project, we look to contribute towards the overall HAC mission of designing and building attractive, energy-efficient, and well-built housing that is truly affordable to local Cape Cod residents,” said Rick Fenuccio, president of Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects Inc.

All units will be affordable for families earning 50 percent or less of the area median income, and eight project based voucher units will be reserved for extremely low-income households (30 percent of area median income or less). 

Residents are expected to move in the beginning of May.  HAC will conduct a housing lottery for all units.  Visit HAC’s website if you would like to learn more about affordable housing lotteries.

A celebratory ribbon cutting will take place on Thursday, April 17 at 10 a.m. on Breezy Way off Old Barnstable Rd., Mashpee.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects Inc.

HAC's Affordable Housing At Sachem's Path on Nantucket

Posted by Laura Reckford on Sun, Sep 15, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

describe the image

 

Housing Assistance Corporation’s Sachem's Path home ownership project is on its way to bringing much needed affordable housing to the island of Nantucket.

The project to construct 40 affordable single family homes in the island’s Surfside area is using local contractors who can sign up now if they are interested in working on the project.

Sachem's Path plans are  in a conceptual stage and the project is currently awaiting state approval to move forward.

The scarcity of affordable housing on the island is well-known to locals who have seen the median home prices on the island soar over $1.5 million. Local newspapers have reported that the problem has worsened as more people have bought up houses that were formerly used as rentals to be used instead as seasonal homes.

The island’s 2002 Housing Action Plan survey stated that the housing crisis on the island is the primary source of most of Nantucket’s economic, social and, even, environmental problems.

The Sachem's Path project can be seen as a step toward helping those who live year-round on Nantucket secure stable housing. “It’s a commitment to making a big dent in providing affordable home ownership on Nantucket,” Adrienne Danner, of HAC's housing development division, said.

The project, she said, is also “an opportunity to employ the trades on Nantucket.” She added, “The houses will be super energy-efficient in a well-planned neighborhood development.”

Contractors can sign up below.

I'm an ACK contractor. Hire me!

Qualified buyers must have household incomes at less than 150% of the median income of Nantucket county. Of the 40 units, 25% will be priced for people who earn 60 to 80% of the island's median income and the remainder, 75%, will be priced for people who earn 81 to 150% of the median income.

The entire island of Nantucket is a historic district and so the development had to receive approval from the Nantucket Historic District Commission, in addition to the Nantucket Zoning Board of Appeals. Commissioners on the historic board were enthusiastic about the scale of the houses because they are not the typical "huge enormous mansions" that usually go before the board, Ms. Danner said.

These are modest homes with about 1,300 square feet of living space, she said.

She said the commission also liked the use of Nantucket vernacular elements. "They were really pleased with the attention to historic detail in porches, trim, rooflines and window styles." Also commissioners liked the diversity of the architecture--six or seven house models--within the Nantucket style.

The architecture team at Coldham & Hartman Architects from Amherst, which specializes in energy efficient homes, designed the original plans working with Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio and Raber of Yarmouth, which has expertise in designing homes that meet the needs of historic commissions.

Sachem's Path will consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, located on nine acres off Surfside Road between Miacomet and South Shore roads.

All the units will be affordable and four will be built and sold by Habitat for Humanity Nantucket.

Housing Assistance Corporation was awarded the contract to develop the project by the Nantucket Housing Authority, which owns the land. The housing authority put out a request for proposals for a developer for Sachem's Path in 2010 and selected HAC, noting its extensive experience developing 400 units of housing on the Cape & Islands over more than three decades.

"It's been a really wonderful collaboration with the Nantucket Housing Authority, and Renee Ceely, the executive director, has been a pleasure to work with," Ms. Danner said.

Nantucket Town Meeting voters in 2011 approved the spending of Community Preservation Act funds towards Sachem's Path. The Nantucket Zoning Board of Appeals approved the Chapter 40B comprehensive permit for the project last fall.

Now, according to Ms. Danner, HAC is working with state housing officials who are reviewing the permit to get final approval.

Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank is the construction lender bank for the project and Ms. Danner said, "We're very excited to be working with Cape Cod Five." Two final funding sources are being sought, she said, and once those are secured, construction on the homes can begin.

Cheryl Kramer, HAC's Housing Consumer Education Center Manager, said 88 potential homebuyers are on the list so far for the homes. She periodically holds "Rebuilding Your Credit" classes on the island of Nantucket "to help these folks start planning for the buying process."

Although it is too early to fill out an application for the homes, Ms. Kramer said, it is not too early to express interest and prepare to be good candidates as homebuyers, whether at Sachem's Path or somewhere else.

"I work hard to help these people start budgeting, saving, getting their credit in good standing so that when the lottery does happpen, we will have good applications and people who will be eligible to buy one of the homes," Ms. Kramer said. "We do know that due to the price point of homes on Nantucket, that there are people waiting specifically for the Sachem's Path project."

Those interested in purchasing a home at Sachem's Path can sign up by clicking the link below.

 

Click me

 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Nantucket, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Sachems Path

HAC Shelters In Cataumet, North Falmouth Seek Volunteers

Posted by Laura Reckford on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod will be holding a Volunteer Information Session on Wednesday, June 26 from 1:30 to 2:30 PM at Falmouth Public Library in the Trustees Room on the lower level.

The library is located at 300 Main Street in Falmouth center. Light refreshments will be served.

 The meeting is to inform Cape residents about volunteer opportunities connected with Housing Assistance Corporation, including opportunities at its family shelters in North Falmouth and Cataumet.

Volunteers assist residents of the shelter with child care and transportation.

Information will also be given at the session about the Housing With Love Walk, a Cape-wide walk and fundraiser, which travels through Falmouth on Sunday, July 21. Anyone can join the walk, which helps raise money to prevent homelessness on Cape Cod.

Another topic of the meeting is The Big Fix, a one-day session in September in which volunteers help repair the homes of seniors, veterans and disabled people. This year’s event takes place in Mashpee on Saturday, September 28.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering for HAC is encouraged to attend this session.

RSVP to Mary Everett-Patriquin at 508-771-5400 ext. 279 or by email at volunteer@haconcapecod.org.

Tags: volunteers, Housing with love walk, Volunteer Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, Village at Cataumet, volunteering, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod

Editorial: Hershey's Kisses

Posted by Laura Reckford on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 04:01 PM

describe the image

The following is excerpted from a speech made at HAC’s annual meeting and volunteer recognition dinner

Most people on the Cape and islands don’t know much about HAC.

Hershey Chocolate Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania has the opposite problem. Everyone knows what Hershey does: makes chocolate. People value chocolate and get instant

gratification from it.

HAC doesn’t provide instant gratification. But like Hershey’s,

HAC produces useful products. They make lots of chocolate and we make lots of peoples’ lives better.

Here are 10 of the many things that HAC does:

1. Foreclosure Help

For more than six years we have had three people working on foreclosures full time, serving well over 3,000 Cape and islands homeowners. We still average 13 new cases each week!

Our data shows that we have had successful outcomes in nearly 2/3 of our cases. We have never charged a penny.

2. Energy Services

For four decades we have made homes owned and rented by lower income Cape and islanders safer, more comfortable, less expensive to operate and more energy efficient.

Hundreds are helped each year and thousands have been helped overall. And we replaced or repaired 288 failing heating systems last year at no charge, not to mention the 442 we cleaned and tuned!

3. Section 8 Assistance

We have nearly 1,000 rental units where we assist the occupants. Many receiving help are elderly or disabled and many are families with jobs that just don’t pay enough. About 10% a year are able to opt out of the program.

4. Family Self-Sufficiency

Family Self Sufficiency participants get long term counseling to help them build employment skills and increase financial literacy. We have about 50 families now working to earn more, improve their credit, save enough money to buy a house or get more education, and to make progress towards moving away from public assistance.

5. Housing Development and Facility Maintenance

HAC has built well over 100 single family homes and more than 300 apartments, all of which are affordable. We have also built housing for people with disabilities. We have nearly 200 units in various stages of pre-development right now.

6. HCEC Services

We provide time and advice to help anyone facing housing crises. In 2012 we served 3,850 households one-on-one in this way.

7. Classes and workshops

We have held evening workshops for nearly 20 years on subjects such as Creating a Budget, Rebuilding Your Credit, Home Forever for homeowners, and Homebuyer Education.

In 2012 we had 363 people complete one or more of these workshop series.

8. Shelter

Each night, 365 nights and days a year our family and individual shelters provide a safe environment for people who have nowhere to go. We wish shelters weren’t needed, but until they are not, we try to help people make the most of their time in shelter. Counseling, employment services, and education, are all part of daily shelter life.

9. Project Prevention

It is better for the household, and far less expensive, to help prevent people from losing their homes. Often, for as little as $500, we can keep someone from facing the crisis of homelessness. Prevention served 344 households in 2012.

10. Big Fix

Going into its fourth year, the Big Fix is a community outreach project where we organize volunteers, professionals and staff to help repair homes on one weekend in one town each year. So far, a total of 40 homeowners have been helped in the towns of Barnstable, Sandwich and Dennis by the Big Fix through the work of 469 volunteers! This year, the Big Fix goes to Mashpee on September 28th.

Often those we help are elderly and unable to do many of the daily tasks around their homes.

When you bite into a handful of Reese’s Pieces, a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, a Kiss, or a Mr. Goodbar, think of HAC. Hershey’s is a well loved company but it may just be the case that the work we do at HAC is more important.

Come take a tour of our “making lives better factory” right here in Hyannis. There’s no charge and you may even get a Kiss!

Tags: Energy Assessments, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, Housing on Cape Cod, MA Rental Voucher Program, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Cape Community Real Estate

Waldorf School Students Visit HAC’s Curio House at Community Green

Posted by Julie Wake on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

curio tour resized 600
“Houses of the Past, Present and Future” was the theme of a recent block in teacher Kim Allsup’s third-grade class at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod.

“So, I was thrilled when Adrienne Danner of HAC told us that a house of the future, Curio House, is here on Cape Cod and that we could visit,” Allsup said. Curio House is the energy-efficient home that is the first residence at HAC’s Community Green in Sandwich.

Allsup said her class prepared for their field trip by studying the science and importance of solar energy. “We went into the playground at school on a sunny day and touched objects that had been warmed by the sun, including a brick wall, black hinges, grass, pavement and black, plastic composters. Then we worked together to list these from the warmest to the coolest. (The black metal hinges were warmest and the grass was coolest.)

“We also had a homework assignment in which students had to say what fuel was used in their homes and how it arrived (oil in trucks, gas in pipes, wood in trucks.) We talked about how each of these forms of fuel produces waste when burned.

“During our visit to Curio House it was easy for the children to understand the principle of passive solar heat since they had all felt the warm hinges and the warm brick wall at school. And, it was impressive that this little house of the future would produce far less waste than houses of today because there would be no oil trucks or wood trucks necessary. In addition to touring the house and hearing a description of how it operates from Mr. MacDougall, we also enjoyed visiting with the goats and the chickens. We thank HAC, Adrienne Danner and Jim MacDougall for our visit to Curio House.”

Tags: Community Green, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Curio House

Nantucket Development Gets Key Permit

Posted by Julie Wake on Sun, Oct 07, 2012 @ 08:35 AM

sachems path

HAC’s 40-unit affordable-housing development project got the sign-off in September for a comprehensive permit – also known as a 40B permit, which allows affordable housing to be built with more flexible zoning.

The next step for the Sachem’s Path development is getting final approval from the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency. Back in March, voters at town meeting showed resounding support for the project by approving the Community Preservation Committee’s proposal to grant a $990,000 appropriation toward the cost of the development.

HAC was selected in July 2010 by the Nantucket Housing Authority to develop affordable single-family homes for the island’s workforce. Every house in the Sachem’s Path development will be deed-restricted affordable and priced for individuals and families earning between $45,000 and $160,000 to meet the housing needs of Nantucket residents

HAC has more than 200 affordable units that will be constructed in the next few years, including those in Sandwich (62 mixed rental units), Mashpee (10 family rental units), Yarmouth (25 mixed rental units), Dennis (27 family rental units) and Nantucket (40 homeownership units).

Tags: Nantucket, housing assistance corporation, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Sachems Path