Affordable Housing Trust
Studying Options for Improvement and Expansion of MHA Senior and Family Housing
The Manchester Affordable Housing Trust, working with the Manchester Housing Authority is exploring options to renovate and expand the MHA state-subsidized properties at Newport Park, the Plains and Loading Place Road. The goal is to preserve and modernize the existing units with minimal cost to local taxpayers while perhaps increasing the tax base with carefully designed additional units. Without adequate state funding, the MHA properties have deferred capital needs that must be addressed as well as basic design issues that do not meet current codes or standards. For example, half of the 80 MHA units restricted to seniors and handicapped households are in second story walk-ups, which presents challenges for seniors seeking to age in place.
In August the Manchester Housing Authority (MHA) and the Manchester Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) hired a housing development advisory consultant to evaluate the existing MHA properties and assess opportunities and alternatives for renovation and perhaps expansion. The consultant will also help determine the feasibility of a community affordable housing development on the current DPW site on Pleasant St. The consultant team of Peregrine Urban Initiative and DHK Architects will provide financial and concept development services as part of the evaluation.
MHA and MAHT have committed to involving residents currently living in the buildings as well as the general public throughout the process of identifying and outlining needs and reviewing plans. The Consultant Team will submit a report of by the end of 2020 or early 2021 with study findings, feasible concept plans, and recommendations for moving forward with redevelopment of the MHA and DPW sites. The report will position the MHA and MAHA to develop a request for proposals (RFP) to select a qualified redevelopment team to pursue the plan.
For more information see MHA and DPW Site Study to the left.
COVID-19 Update: Manchester Affordable Housing Trust Announces Emergency Rental and Mortgage Housing Payment Assistance:
The Manchester Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT), in collaboration with Action, Inc., a Gloucester-based human and social services agency, will now offer homeowner mortgage assistance - to be combined in its program that offers short-term rental housing payment assistance - to income eligible Manchester residents in response to job and income loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consistent with its mission to support and promote community affordable housing, the MAHT is reaching out to income eligible residents who are experiencing housing rent and mortgage payment issues. The MAHT can and wants to help during this difficult and uncertain time. For further information please contact Action, Inc. at 978-282-1000 or live chat at http://www.actioninc.org.
Affordable Housing Trust Board Members:
- Margaret Driscoll - 2021
- Chris Olney (Planning Board) - 2021
- Nancy Hammond (Housing Authority) - 2021
- Joan McDonald (CPC) - 2021
- John Feuerbach, At Large Chair - 2021
- Peggy Hegarty-Steck, At Large - 2022
- Sarah Mellish (Finance Committee) - 2022
The Manchester-by-the-Sea Affordable Housing Trust was established by Town Meeting vote in 2016 with the mission to increase diversity of housing options to meet the needs of Manchester’s low and moderate income households. The Trust is comprised of a seven-member board of resident volunteers with experience and expertise in housing policy, finance, development, programs, and advocacy. The Town Planner, through funding from the Community Preservation Act, provides staff support to the Trust.
The AHT will support affordable housing choice, diversity and opportunity in Manchester-by-the Sea; its actions will benefit those who cannot afford to rent or own a home in town, including seniors and local workers who provide valuable services to the town and are the backbone of the local economy.
The AHT is grounded in the principle that a diverse economic and demographic mix of residents is beneficial to the long-term well-being of the town, and a range of housing opportunities, enhanced by affordable community housing, is a means to support the broadest segment of the community. It is the AHT’s Mission to:
- Communicate - Engage town residents in an inclusive manner to discuss the benefits of community housing, so that the AHT reflects a broad, community- supported mission.
- Collaborate - Work with town officials and boards to outline the mission, principles and goals of the AHT, and to foster community housing efforts.
- Target Housing Need - Promote additional community housing that is affordable and accessible to those with low and moderate incomes.
- Provide Support - Encourage, deliver and sustain housing opportunities, choice and financial support for town residents burdened by high rents and home prices.
- Promote Community Housing - Increase the inventory of community affordable housing units that count on the state’s Subsidized Housing Inventory with a goal of at least 10% of the total Manchester-by-the Sea housing stock.
- Be Timely - When pursuing development plans, be responsive to demographic and housing trends, such as the increasing aging population, growing number of households in town, and the loss of rental housing as homeownership units have increased.
- Encourage Design for Excellence - Promote aspirational design principles to guide the development of community housing- with style and a sense of place that is appropriate, energy efficient and contextual.
To further its mission and promote affordable community housing options, choice and diversity, the AHT will follow these operating principles:
- Use Resources Wisely - Use available financial and in-kind resources, including an allocation of local Community Preservation Funds, to promote the planning and development of community housing.
- Seek Proposals for Community Housing - Prepare Request for Proposals to solicit community housing applications, using AHT funds and publicly-owned land to leverage private development and secure additional funding.
- Address Policy and Zoning - Advocate for housing and zoning policies that facilitate community housing
- Pursue Community Housing Opportunities - Identify specific opportunities to create community housing, such as utilizing unused town-owned land, or partnering with the Housing Authority to consider creative use of existing properties.
- Be A Partner in Development for the Good of the Town - Engage with and encourage developers to pursue well-designed proposals that include community housing.
- Encourage Development of a Variety of Purpose-Built Projects– Promote housing unit types and sizes with reasonable rents or prices to match the diversity of community needs.
- Undertake Small Actions, With Meaningful Results - Provide creative financial assistance to make rental or homeownership housing affordable to the greatest number of income eligible households.
The Trust welcomes the public to its monthly meetings, which will be posted in advance on the Town’s website and at Town Hall.
For further information, please email Sue Brown, Town Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-525-6436.
The Manchester Housing Authority (MHA) and the Manchester-by-the-Sea Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) are jointly seeking proposals from experienced development and financial consulting firms (the consultant) to serve as financial consultant and as possible future development partner for renovated and/or new public and affordable housing using appropriate funding sources. The clients of this consultant contract will be the MHA and the MAHT.
- Affordable Housing Trust Bylaw
- Affordable Housing Trust Guidebook
- Affordable Housing Trust Operations Manual
- Affordable Housing Trust Presentation - March 15, 2016
- Affordable Housing Trust Q&A - March 15, 2016
- ARTICLE 18 - Affordable Housing Trust
- DRAFT Updated Housing Production Plan November 2020
- MAHT article 6-19 re NOFA Final MAHT
- MAHT Initial Application of Intent
- MAHT Notice of Funding Availability
- Manchester Housing Production Plan
- Town of Manchester Community Preservation Plan