Construction of 12 Single-Family Homes on Barrows Road
Location: Barrows Road
Applicant: Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod
Year/Article: April 2017, A35
Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod applied to the Community Preservation Fund in 2017 for $362,000 to purchase a 5.57 acre parcel near the Waquoit Congregational Church for a 40B community housing neighborhood of nine to twelve single-family ownership homes. Habitat met with neighbors of the future development and other interested parties to discuss and agree on the proposed project, as well as with the Falmouth Planning Department and Town Management to ensure steady progress. Habitat has used a locally-funded acquisition model very successfully in Brewster, Barnstable, Harwich, Orleans, Truro, and Yarmouth for a total of 45 affordable homes, all deed-restricted for affordability in perpetuity. The homes are sold to very low-income households, meaning households earning between 45 and 65 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). This has resulted in home sale prices of $126,000 for a two-bedroom home and $140,250 for a three-bedroom home (2014 figures), prices that increase slightly as AMIs change.
Once through construction permitting, Habitat intends to use its sweat-equity model to build the new homes. This means the selected purchasers partner with Habitat and devote 250 to 500 hours of work (250 for a single adult family; 500 for a two-adult family). This results in home owners who are well educated in building and maintenance and also fosters a true sense of community among the families. Habitat also receives donations of materials, professional services, and labor, which works to increase the collaborative spirit brought to address the affordable housing crisis the Cape is experiencing.
Habitat expects to take title to the property in 2018 and to have completed the final phase of the volunteer build work in 2023, at which time the selected homeowners will take possession of their homes. The project is expected to cost $3.4 million in soft and hard costs, for an average unit cost of $281,000 and a square foot cost of $234.