Discussing the Plot Plan for Affordable Housing on Cape Cod

Project: Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable, Episode 3, Part 2

Affordable housing is the story in this project as Bob heads to Mashpee, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, where a state law is helping put higher density, affordable housing in place for four families who live and work in the community. Bob meets Pat Fiero of the Housing Assistance Corporation who explains the hurdles faced by families needing to live near their workplaces in a town where the average home price is $450,000. Bob visits Mashpee Commons and looks at mixed-use development that is providing a town center, housing, commercial property, recreational space, and a new church as a start to this new town development. Bob also meets the developer, Joe Valle, who explains the challenges in developing affordable housing and how this project was made possible by invoking Massachusetts? 40B land use and development law. On site, Bob Bevilaqua moves the earth to prepare the sites, shows the tie-offs for electrical and phone lines, and explains the drainage plan.
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
This project deals with two very different notions of home. Bob begins on New York City's Upper West Side, where an 1890s Brownstone is revitalized through high-quality craftsmanship and sensitive design. New York's past meets its present, as the entire floor is recaptured and refurbished to create a spacious urban apartment on the doorstep of Central Park.

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.