Sharon Housing Partnership
September 9, 2008 7:30 PM Meeting Minutes- Approved October 14, 2008
In attendance: Mary Tobin, Susan Saunders, Alan Lury, Warren Kirshenbaum and Lou Modestino
Also in attendance: Susan Gittelman from BBNE
Voted to Approve SHP Meeting Minutes of August 12, 2008 as Amended.
Bínai Bírith Housing New England (BBNE)
Susan† Gittelman, Executive Director BBNE, gave an overview of the recent work of this non-profit organization.† The goal of BBNE is to create affordable housing through innovative partnerships with local communities. Recently BBNE has been involved in the creation of three affordable housing projects for seniors in Brighton, collectively referred to as the Covenant House Communities. While these developments are not assisted living, they provide social, recreational and community supports to elders and older adults. The Covenant House Communities are comprised of 242 rental units, all affordable.
BBNE has also recently completed the development of a 57 unit, first time buyer, mixed income condominium complex in the Chestnut Hill section of Newton.† Fifteen units are affordable (priced at 70%AMI). These are all one and two bedroom units. Affordable units range from130K- 194K; market rate units are in the high 200s to 500K. Total cost of this project was about 18M. †The land was purchased at market rate. The City of Newton CPA fund contributed 1.2M. Although the objective was to provide affordable housing- market rate units were necessary to make the project feasible.
In Stoughton BBNE is in the early stages of the development of another affordable housing development for seniors and older adults. Three acres of property have been purchased. Approximately 100 affordable rental units will be built.
Ms. Gittelman explained that BBNE was interested in working with the Sharon community to develop affordable housing. Sharon is part of the BBNE strategic cluster area as Bínai Bírith has an already existing relationship with Sharon and various community groups in the area. A big part of this organizationís focus is concerned with developing support campaigns that enlist local community groups. BBNE focuses on the development of projects ranging in size from 40 to 120 units. BBNE serves as the Limited Dividend Corporation in the development of its friendly 40B projects. Ms. Gittelman said she had visited both the Sacred Heart and Horizons for Youth properties and that both were of potential interest.
Susan Saunders spoke of the SHPís interest in affordable home ownership opportunities for town residents and town employees and the fact that acquiring developable land has been a stumbling block. BBNE is amenable to purchase of land at market rate for suitable development.
Susan Saunders explained that a home inspection was not done as there has been some confusion as to which town department has the responsibility here. Ben Puritz indicated that it was the DPW. When contacted, Eric Hooper, DPW Superintendent, indicated he had no knowledge regarding this property. To date there has been no resolution. Latest idea is to wait until September 15th when the tenantís lease is up to see if they move out.
The letter discussed at the last SHP meeting was sent to Bob Shelmerdine. When contacted on September 5th, he indicated he had not received it. A copy was then sent by FAX. To date he has not responded.† Susan Saunders will follow up.
October 1st is the date of groundbreaking. Alan Lury reported that Beacon Properties has not yet received the full tax credits applied for. There was no information on which non-profit pass through was in place.
The group again discussed the need to go to the CPC for funding for reestablishing the Sharon Affordable Housing Corp. and for other uses.
The group discussed how to proceed in regard to BBNE.† Several ideas were raised including revisiting both the Sacred Heart Reuse Committee and Horizons for Youth Committee.
Mary Tobin suggested that recent information in the Sharon Advocate suggesting that suitable land for affordable development exists and is identified in the Sharon Housing Production Plan, should be followed up on.
Alan Lury volunteered to contact Peter OíCain, Town Engineer, to get an updated list of potentially suitable land.
Mary Tobin indicated that she would contact Paul Lauenstein to get the data related to the GIS report on developable lots.
The group decided to hold off on voting to decide whether the SHP wants to support the new IZ By-law. Mary Tobin will follow up on the status of this with Paul Lauenstein, Planning Board.
Lou Modestino brought up recent Supreme Judicial Court decisions concerning 40B. Warren Kirshenbaum volunteered to summarize this information at out next meeting.
Meeting Adjourned 9:10PM