Tour of an Affordable Home

Project: Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable, Episode 4, Part 2

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.
Part 1: Discussing Falmouth's Model for Affordable Housing
Part 2: Tour of an Affordable Home
Bob and developer John Druley walk through a home under construction by Quaker Homes in Falmouth, Massachusetts. This standard design is used for both the market-priced and affordable homes. The overall dimensions of the house are 26 feet by 36 feet. A center-door entry leads to 13-by-18-foot living room on one side and a 16-by-13-foot master bedroom on the other. The back of the house has a 13-by-18-foot kitchen with a back door and a window onto the backyard, a half-bath and laundry, and an entry to the master bedroom with full bath, tub-shower combination, double-bowl sink, and linen closet. The upstairs has two bedrooms with operable skylights and a full bath. This three-bedroom, two-and-one-half bath Cape will be lotteried as an affordable home to eligible families who make between $29,000 and $65,000 per year, and who qualify for a traditional mortgage. The home is stick-built with traditional 2X4 framing, oriented strand board (OSB) exterior sheathing, low-e glass, tilt-in vinyl windows, and gas heat. Bob and Druley point out that an affordable home must be affordable to operate and heat as well as being affordable to purchase.
Part 3: Landscaping in the Falmouth Affordable House Development and Finished Interior of a Single Family Home
Part 4: Tour of the Completed Interior of an Affordable Home
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.