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Truro celebrates grand opening of 16 affordable rental homes

Built on town land next to library, COA, park; utilized MHP funding, technical assistance

Posted on September 20, 2013

TRURO, Sept. 20, 2013 --- The final piece of a master plan for 10 acres of town land was officially completed recently when Community Housing Resource Inc. of Provincetown (CHR) joined with town leaders past and present to celebrate the completion of Sally's Way.

Located in North Truro next to the town's library, community center, council on aging, a town playground and park, Sally's Way consists of six Cape-style buildings featuring 16 affordable rental homes that include four one-bedroom, nine two-bedroom and three three-bedroom apartments.

Three of the apartments will be affordable to families with incomes at or below 80 percent of median, nine will be for incomes at or below 60 percent of median and four will be for families at or below 50 percent of median. Families are scheduled to start moving into the development in October.

The new homes are a godsend for people trying to live year-round on Cape Cod. Kerry Lardner is one example. Her story is familiar. She began working on the outer Cape during the summer while in college, fell in love with the area and stayed. Working double time during the tourist season to make a year's worth of salary was fine when she was single, but with two children, she needed an affordable year-round place. "Finding housing on the Cape is nearly impossible," she said. "Having this place gives me a solid foundation so I can raise my kids."

At the grand opening, many local leaders were recognized for their efforts to include affordable housing in its master plan, to convince the town to support it and stick with it through an abutter lawsuit, economic downturns and conservation concerns.

"What's special about what Truro has done is that you don't often see elaborate master planning involving the town with a developer," said Susan Schlesinger, president of the Life Initiative, a Massachusetts-based insurance industry community fund that provided construction financing. "Congratulations to the town for having the vision to put a range of uses on one site."

"This is a tremendous day for the town of Truro," said Jay Coburn, chair of the board of selectmen. "Over 90 families applied for the housing, 60 qualified and we could only take 16. I only hope it doesn't take another 11 years for us to do more affordable housing."

Local leaders who were specifically recognized at the Sept. 20 event for envisioning Sally's Way included former town manager Bud Breault, Community Preservation Committee Chair Deborah McCutcheon, former town moderator and Cape Cod Commission board member Susan Kadar, former housing authority board chair Jeanne Foulke and Sally Sears-Mack, the former selectwoman and housing authority director credited with being a vocal champion in the early years, an effort the town recognized when it named the road and the project after her.

"I want to congratulate the town and personally thank Sally for her mentorship to me and what she's done for Truro," said state Rep. Sarah Peake.

Also receiving praise was CHR and its president, Ted Malone. Picked by the town to develop the property in 2003, Malone figured out a way to get six attractive buildings and 16 affordable rental homes on a narrow hilly site and stuck with the plan through its numerous delays. "Ted did a lot more than most developers would have done," said Kadar.

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) was also with the town and CHR every step of the way, starting back in 2002 when MHP collaborated with the state to offer first mortgage and second mortgage subsidy financing to communities willing to build affordable housing on town land.

"When we put the call out to communities, Truro was one of the first towns to step forward," said Judy Jacobson, MHP's deputy director. "Why did we hear from Truro? Because of local leaders like Sally, Jeanne Foulke and others, who worked tirelessly to advance this housing. Today, we're happy to be able to say that Sally finally got her way."

MHP's community assistance and lending teams did a number of things to help the town and CHR move the development forward, including:

  • Funded a consultant to evaluate the development potential of the site and prepare a concept plan.
  • Helped formulate a zoning change that the town adopted to allow for multi-family housing on the site.
  • Helped the town prepare a Request for Proposals to find a qualified developer.
  • Provided the town with a model ground lease developed by MHP to help municipalities and housing authorities convey public properties to developers for affordable housing.
  • The town joined MHP's MassDocs on-line loan closing system so it could efficiently channel $250,000 in local Community Preservation Act funds into the financing.
  • MHP used its bank-funded loan pool to commit over $1.1 million in first mortgage financing and $750,000 in zero percent interest second mortgage financing.
  • The second mortgage financing comes from MHP's bank-funded Neighborhood Rental Initiative Program, which is designed to help communities and housing authorities build affordable housing. Other towns that have used this program include Acton, Barnstable, Chelmsford, Hopkinton, Mashpee and Sudbury.

Additional financing for Sally's Way came from the state Department of Housing and Community Development, which awarded federal HOME funds and funds from its Housing Stabilzation Program. Sally's Way also received support from the state's Affordable Housing Trust Fund and federal HOME Funds awarded by Barnstable County through the Cape Cod Commission.

MHP uses funds from the banking industry to support the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing due to a 1990 state law that requires companies that purchase Massachusetts banks to make loan funds available to MHP. Since then, MHP has provided over $921 million in loans and commitments for the financing of 19,785 rental homes, most of them affordable to lower- and middle-income families. For more information about MHP's rental financing programs, click here.

For more information about Sally's Way and MHP's affordable housing programs, contact MHP's Nancy McCafferty at 857-317-8556 or