Two Housing Groups Merge to Preserve Local Affordable Housing for First Time Homebuyers.
Gloucester, Mass., February 13, 2012 – The Community Land Trust of Cape Ann, on January 1, 2012, merged with Harborlight Community Partners, a North Shore-based, nonprofit affordable housing operator and developer. We are pleased to be associated with Harborlight Community Partners for assuming the administration and responsibility of ensuring the permanent affordability of the land trust’s 51 affordable first-time buyer condominium units, said Bob Gillis, Vice President, Cape Ann Savings Bank. Gillis also served as the former President of the Community Land Trust of Cape Ann and is a board member for Harborlight Community Partners.
The Land Trust was originally developed in 1988 by Wellspring House, Inc. to develop local affordable home ownership opportunities. The Trust developed four condominium projects in Gloucester: Haven Terrace, 26 units; Babson Block, Granite Street, 15 units; Forbes School, 47 Washington Street, 8 units; and 22 Taylor Street, 2 units. The condominiums were sold to first-time homebuyers earning less than 80 percent of the area median income. The Land Trust retains title to the land, which ties the resale price of the units to local wage rates, ensuring continued affordability.
The Community Land Trust of Cape Ann has been a very successful homebuyer program for over 20 years, despite not many people even knowing about the program, explains Gillis.
My neighborhood of working class home owners would not have been possible without them. My teenage son has benefited greatly from one of the most important pieces of childhood a parent strives to provide: safe, affordable, housing stability, said Stacy Randell, who has owned her Haven Terrace unit for over 14 years and a trustee of the Haven Terrace Condo Association.”We are very fortunate to have the resources, knowledge and shared vision of Harborlight Community Partners to preserve the unique components of a land trust, said Randall.
In further efforts to ensure affordable housing on Cape Ann, Harborlight Community Partners finalized the purchase of Rockport’s Pigeon Cove Ledges. This will preserve 30 units of affordable elderly housing for decades to come. A large rehabilitation and improvement project is planned for Pigeon Cove in the spring. Harborlight Community Partners continues to review other affordable housing preservation and development projects in the area.
We are excited and grateful to be working with the Cape Ann community to protect, preserve, and support affordable housing efforts, said Andrew DeFranza, Harborlight Community Partners’ Executive Director. Our goal, as it has been for 50 years, is to ensure seniors, people with disabilities, and working families have an opportunity to live in affordable, well-maintained and dignified settings.
About Harborlight Community Partners, Inc. Harborlight Community Partners (HCP) provides a wide range of housing with services primarily for low and moderate income people living in Essex County. As the Region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit provider of affordable housing, HCP currently owns, manages, or supports 341 housing units providing home for over 450 people. This housing is contained within 17 rental facilities located in seven communities on the North Shore and 53 first-time buyer units largely through partnership with Community Land Trust of Cape Ann. HCP also hosts the Acord Food Pantry in Hamilton.
HCP provides affordable housing for working families, elders, and those with disabilities. By focusing on the housing needs of the region’s increasing underserved population and creating, preserving and operating safe, affordable housing units and supportive services, Harborlight Community Partners, Inc. strives to make homes available to all North Shore citizens, regardless of means. For more information, visit www.harborlightcp.org.