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- Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable > Episode 3: Building Affordable Homes on Cape Cod
Discussing the Plot Plan for Affordable Housing on Cape Cod
- Part 1: Discussing Community Planning at Mashpee Commons and Affordable Housing Problems on Cape Cod
- Part 2: Discussing the Plot Plan for Affordable Housing on Cape Cod
Bob meets with Joe Valle, the developer and general contractor for the River Hill development in Mashpee, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.
Although Mashpee has zoning laws that restrict housing development to minimum two-acre lots, Valle found that this land could not be adequately broken up into two two-acre parcels. So, he applied for zoning relief through Massachusetts' Act 40B and was able to use the 4.5-acre parcel to build 11 homes, four of which are affordable.
Valle shows Bob the plan for the new neighborhood, indicating where the affordable homes will be located. He also shows him the available house-plan options. Homebuyers may choose from a Colonial, a Cape, or a ranch model. All homes will be of the same size and specifications, ranging from 1,320 square feet to 1,600 square feet. They will be finished with wood siding, either cedar shingle or clapboard.
Valle explains that 40B affordable houses may not differ in size, appearance, or materials from their market-priced neighbors. Valle is also limited, by law, to a 20 precent profit on the development. This will come mostly from the market-priced homes that should sell for around $345,000.He does remark that challenges, like the increase in building supply prices, may limit his profit even further. Still, Valle is excited to use the law as a tool to build beautiful, affordable housing for families who want to live and work in the community.
- Part 3: Preparing the Site for the Construction of Eleven Homes
At the same time, Bob works with a Cape Cod developer to apply Massachusetts land use statute 40B to create affordable housing, and a neighborhood of homes in Mashpee, MA. These Energy Star certified homes show how quality building practices and reasonable asking prices can work together to provide livable, affordable homes and neighborhoods to those who work in our communities.
Also from Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable
Bob is on Manhattan's Upper West Side to renew a 2,000-square-foot Brownstone apartment. First, he looks at what made Brownstones significant, including their details and façades.<br> <br> Inside the building, Bob shows how the space was cut up in the 1940s to make a warren of rooms. These walls and finishes will be removed as the space is gutted to prepare for new studs, walls, plumbing, and finishes.<br> <br> Pieces will be salvaged for architectural resale, including the pink sink from the bathroom and the retro cabinets in the kitchen, but everything else will go. Bob also visits Central Park, its caretakers, trees, and monuments.
The big story is the cornice molding found in tact when the drop ceiling came down. The molding will set a tone for the main living space, where the bricks have been removed to install a flue liner and drafting fireplace. All of the 40s wall, surface, and ceiling treatments are gone, along with the lath and plaster, leaving the bare brick and exposed joists from the original construction. Remodels have cut into the joist work or damaged it, so some reworking will be necessary to build up for the floors and ceilings. The floor joists are sistered to make a level, solid footing for the Georgia-Pacific Plytanium subflooring that goes under the wood floor. Laser levels allow the carpenters to set level lines throughout the apartment horizontally for the floor and vertically for the new steel studs they are installing. Finally, a flexible flue liner is run through the wall, and up the chimney for the new fireplace.
Bob visits with John Druley of Quaker Homes in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Druley is developing a parcel of land in Falmouth that will have eight homes, two of them affordable for families earing a modest income. Bob and Druley discuss the reality of housing in Falmouth, where one-acre building lots are required for new housing. A lot, Druley explains, will sell for around $300,000 with no construction. For this development, Druley has invoked Massachusetts' Act 40B to gain relief from zoning restrictions such as the one-acre minimum lot size. In return, Druley must make 20 percent of the homes available as affordable homes, for those earning up to 80 percent of the area's median income. The lots are 10,000 sqaure feet with a 40-foot setback from the road, 10-foot sidelines, and a 45 to 50-foot backyard. The homes are 1,800-square-foot Capes with attached garages, clad in white cedar shingles, with skylights, architectural-style roof shingles, and no-maintenance, energy-efficient vinyl windows. Druley explains that the affordable and market-priced homes must be indistinguisable in design, materials, and layout. The state assigns a 40B auditor to monitor the project and assure that no corners are cut on the affordable homes, and that the developer earns no more than 20 percent profit from the development. Druley explains that the market-priced homes in the neighborhood will sell for between $375,000 and $400,000, which will help offset the $119,900 selling price for the affordable homes.
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