Montague Selects Developer for $2M Affordable Housing Project

Habitat for Humanity selected as developer for new Affordable housing project on First Street.

MONTAGUE – The Montague Selectboard officially awarded Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity as the developer for new Affordable housing project in downtown Turners Falls. This project will occur on a 0.65 acre parcel on First Street (Map 4, Lot 31), located within the Town’s newly adopted 40R: Smart Growth Overlay Zoning District. The $2 million project will include 6 detached single family homes on individual parcels. All homes will be deeded Affordable, in perpetuity; and they will be required to be owner-occupied.

For the initial home purchases, Habitat for Humanity will target homebuyers who earn between a minimum of $30,000 per year and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) adjusted for family size. A deed restriction will be placed on each parcel limiting resale to someone earning 80% AMI or less and limiting the maximum resale price of the home to keep it affordable in perpetuity.

One of the homes will be built to be fully ADA accessible. Five of the homes will be built to be “visitable,” meaning that each of these homes will be designed in such a way that it can be lived in or visited by people who have trouble with steps or who use wheelchairs or walkers. Each home will be all electric and energy-efficient.

Town Planner Maureen Pollock stated, “these affordable housing units will be the first created in Montague in over 10 years. The Town has demonstrated a commitment to developing affordable housing at this location, an underutilized municipal parking lot that is conveniently located in downtown Turners Falls, which is in proximity to transit stops, retail shops and restaurants, Unity Park, and the Canalside Rail Trail running along the Connecticut River.” Pollock continues to state, “the Town hopes that this project will plant a seed for additional new housing developments in downtown Turners Falls.”

During the Planning Board’s February 21st review of Habitat for Humanity’s proposal to the Town’s Request for Proposals for the Design and Development of Affordable Housing on First Street, Chair Ronald Sicard stated, “the Town of Montague has a positive experience working with Habitat for Humanity on previous Affordable housing projects. Ronald Sicard stated, “I support Habitat’s proposal and I am happy that this development will put the property back on the tax roll.” The Planning Board voted 4-0 to give a positive recommendation to the Selectboard for awarding Habitat for Humanity as the selected developer.

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity is a Florence MA based nonprofit housing organization with over 30 years of experience building affordable homes in Franklin and Hampshire Counties. Executive Director Megan McDonough stated, “we are thrilled to be building in Montague again. We are solidly aligned with the Town’s commitment to developing sustainable long term living solutions for local families with low incomes. We look forward to rallying volunteers and other partners in Franklin County to help us build and to provide an opportunity for homeownership in six energy-efficient all-electric homes.”