Sippican Woods to offer affordable homes
MARION — More affordable housing is coming to Marion.
Following the completion of the Marion Village Estates apartments, Baywatch Realty is proceeding with its adjacent 36-house development named Sippican Woods. Nine of those homes will go to lower income families in a lottery to be held in February.
The development is part of the plan for 60 apartments and 36 homes approved five years ago to add “40B” affordable housing for residents. The “40B” regulation allows the developer to bypass local zoning restrictions if a percentage of homes are sold or rented at below-market costs to people who meet the income requirements, and if a town has not met the state-required 10 percent minimum of affordable housing in its boundaries.
The apartments, all of meet the state’s requirement for affordable housing, were completed in August 2015 and are full, said Ken Steen of Baywatch Realty. Affordable housing takes into account the median income in an area.
Preliminary work for the houses is underway, and Steen said the first affordable houses will likely be completed by the end of this summer.
“How many qualified applicants we have will determine the rate at which we construct the affordable houses,” he said.
Each affordable home is approximately 1,600 square feet, will have three bedrooms and one and a half baths, and will cost $213,300. Homeowners Association fees are $45 a month.
The affordable homes will only be sold to households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income. The maximum allowable income starts at $46,000 for a single person and goes up to $76,250 for six people.
Everyone in the household must also qualify as a first-time homebuyer, and the household must be pre-approved for a mortgage.
The town also requires that preference be given to local residents for 70 percent of the homes, or six of the nine.
For this requirement, an applicant must be a current resident of Marion, have resided in Marion for at least five years, have a child who has lived in Marion the past five years, or be a full- or part-time town employee.
The remaining 27 homes are also generating a lot of interest. Though Steen said there isn’t a hard timeline for the project, some of the houses already have buyers.
He also said the project could take a year to finish or it could take three. It depends on demand.
“We started marketing them about four weeks ago,” he said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of interest.”
The deadline for the application to participate in the lottery is Feb. 14 at 2 p.m., and the lottery will be held Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Elizabeth Taber Library.
“We’re excited to get into the for sale portion of the project,” Steen said. “We look forward to completing it. We think it’s a great product. We think it’s something the town is in need of.”
For more information, attend an information session on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Elizabeth Taber Library, or go to www.s-e-b.com/properties/for-sale-developments.
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