Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Sachem's Path Now Complete

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 @ 04:38 PM

Sachems Streetscape.jpg

This month, HAC’s Housing Development Director Sandy Horvitz will attend a Homeowners Association meeting for Sachem’s Path, effectively concluding HAC’s role in the Nantucket project which saw the agency build 37 affordable homes for the island’s workforce on 10 acres of land off Surfside Road.

All 37 houses have been constructed and the final residents moved into their new homes just prior to Christmas. “I get emails from them [the homeowners] all the time saying, ‘This is the best thing that ever happened’ and ‘I can’t thank you enough,’” Horvitz said. “It is really heartwarming. It is one of those things that makes doing this job kind of fun, in a sense. There’s a reward you get when people are that excited.”

The project has been more than 30 years in the making. In 1985, Islanders voted to give the land to the Nantucket Housing Authority for the purpose of developing affordable housing. In 2011, the housing authority selected HAC to oversee the neighborhood project; construction began three years later.

“It’s been a very long road to see Sachem’s Path come to its completion. It’s a very proud moment for all of us who participated in its success and have seen it through to fruition. That includes HAC, the Nantucket Housing Authority, and the community at large which voted to be a major donor for the project,” Nantucket Housing Authority Director Renee Ceely said. “The real winners are the wonderful families who are now homeowners who thought owning a home was an impossible dream that actually came true.”

Learn more about Sachem's Path and those who have benefited from the project by clicking this link

Affordable Rentals in Bourne

Now that Sachem’s Path is complete, HAC and the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) are in the midst of constructing 44 low-income and workforce apartments in Bourne. When finished next fall, those apartments will be added to the 73 that have already been built as part of the three-phased project known as Canal Bluffs.

Last July, HAC and POAH kicked off the third phase of Canal Bluffs with a groundbreaking ceremony. You can read about that event here.

Tags: Nantucket, Bourne, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Sachems Path, Sandy Horvitz, Canal Bluffs, Housing Development, affordable homeownership, Renee Ceely

State Lends its Support to Sachem's Path Project

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 08:30 AM
DSC 0053 resized 600Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick with HAC's Kate Ferreira at a press conference in June announcing funding for several affordable housing projects including Sachem's Path on Nantucket. 

During Massachusetts’ 2nd Annual Housing Week in June, HAC’s housing development project manager Kate Ferreira drove up to Dorchester to attend a press conference where Governor Deval L. Patrick announced state funding towards the initial phase of a project that will bring 40 affordable homes to Nantucket.

That was the first of several milestones that have been reached in recent months that has made the Sachem’s Path project a reality.

Along with the state commitment of $1.485 million towards Sachem’s Path, the town of Nantucket transferred the 10 acres of land, where the 40 units will be built, to HAC in August. A few days later HAC staff, along with many of the key players in the project - Nantucket Housing Authority, Housing Nantucket, Habitat for Humanity Nantucket, the Nantucket Community Preservation Committee, Horsley Witten Group and Oxbow Partners – gathered at the Dreamland Theater on Nantucket to celebrate how far Sachem’s Path has come and how close it is to fruition.

To learn more about Sachem’s Path and to keep up to date with the progress of the project visit www.sachemspath.org and LIKE the Sachem’s Path Facebook page.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Nantucket, Kate Ferreira, Governor Deval Patrick, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Sachems Path

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

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

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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.” 

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." 

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

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