Construction of Three Single-Family Homes on St. Marks Road
Location: 3, 11 and 17 St. Marks Road, East Falmouth MA 02536
Applicant: Falmouth Housing Trust, Inc.
Grant: $120,000 from the Falmouth Affordable Housing Fund
Year/Authority: 2014, Board of Selectmen
In 2010, the Falmouth Housing Trust (FHT) presented to the Falmouth Affordable Housing Committee, the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen an idea for constructing three deed-restricted affordable homes on a town-owned one-acre parcel on St. Marks Road in East Falmouth. The property abuts Route 28 with access to transportation and is located in a small, quiet neighborhood. The project aligned with the Town’s Housing Production Plan filed with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which calls for the disposition of municipally owned land for affordable housing creation. In 2010, Town Meeting voted to release the parcel as excess inventory, but restricted its use for affordable housing. In 2012 the Town released a Request for Proposals. FHT was awarded the project to develop the property. FHT permitted the project through the Local Initiative Program, obtaining approval from DHCD in 2013and a comprehensive permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2014. Prior to the Comprehensive Permit process FHT hosted a community meeting with the neighbors and abutters to unveil their development plans and solicit input.
In May of 2014, after five years of preparatory work, FHT applied to the Falmouth Affordable Housing Fund for a $120,000 grant to support the project and, after a positive recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee, the Board of Selectmen awarded FHT the requested amount in August of 2015. Construction had begun in the fall of 2014, with local contractors and subcontractors and with a construction loan of $557,500 from the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank in the form of a line of credit.
FHT held an Open House and Dedication of the new homes on June 27, 2015, with the new homeowners present. The homeowners applied for the chance to purchase their homes through a lottery. All homeowners live and work in Falmouth and earn 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) in Barnstable County. This demographic group, low- to moderate-income families with young children, was shown to have declined in the 2010 census by close to 20 percent in Falmouth,
One home is visitable and all have three-bedrooms and two-baths and are compatible with the neighborhood in height and architectural design. They have been sited for solar energy, and their appliances and mechanicals are energy star-rated. The St. Marks Road development is a certified Tier 1 Energy Star project.
The per unit cost to construct each home was $223,332 and the three homes were sold for $185,000 each. They are deed-restricted in perpetuity to remain affordable for buyers earning low-moderate income. FHT annually monitors the homes for owner occupancy, ensuringno unauthorized liens and loans are recorded against the property that would jeopardize affordability ensuring the homes remain affordable in subsequent re-sales.