Town Inks Deal To Buy Somerset Road Property For $1.7 Million

Jason Graziadei •

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The town’s portfolio of affordable housing properties is poised to grow once again this summer.

The Nantucket Affordable Housing Trust voted Wednesday to acquire a three-quarter-acre property at 14 Somerset Road for $1.79 million. The purchase and sale agreement with the owners, Marianne Stanton and Jim Giffin, received a unanimous vote and the town is expected to close on the property on Aug. 9.

Another island property, a condominium at 8 Thirty Acres Lane, is also set to be acquired by the Affordable Housing Trust. A $825,000 purchase and sale agreement with Elizabeth Kassan-Bisbee and Laura J. Wolfe for that parcel was unanimously approved on Wednesday, and the town is expected to close on the vacant unit this week.

The members of the Affordable Housing Trust praised the sellers of both properties on Wednesday, stating that both owners had approached the trust with the opportunity to acquire the parcels for affordable housing purposes before putting them on the open market.

“Both of these came to the trust independent of going on the market,” said AFT chair Brian Sullivan. “I hope this is a trend that happens that the trust can see properties without the pressure of them being on the market.”

“It’s the awareness of our work and the depth of the crisis that is inspiring people who are selling to present opportunities to the trust out of the market,” vice chair Brooke Mohr added.

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The larger of the two acquisitions - the pending purchase of 14 Somerset Road - has been in the works for several months. The roughly three-quarter-acre property was carved out of a larger three-acre property owned by Stanton and Giffin that is being subdivided. The purchase and sale agreement provides for a new covenant lot to be created on the property. The existing three-bedroom home on the property is currently being rented to year-round residents, and the existing lease will be honored, the Trust said.

“This property could lend itself to both rental and ownership,” said municipal housing director Tucker Holland. “The long term plan is ultimately still in development, but we see several different options. It fits with the scattered site approach to how we’re trying to do all the housing we’re doing.”

The condominium unit on Thirty Acres Lane is currently vacant, and comes with a 25 percent interest stake in the full condo unit. In the short-term, Holland said, the condominium will be rented out with certain income restrictions for qualified applicants.

“In the longer term, the plan isn’t necessarily written in stone, and it could continue to serve as a year-round rental or it could possibly be turned into a year-round homeownership opportunity,” Holland said. “Given the market conditions, and the condition of the property itself, we felt this was a good opportunity.”

The funding source for both acquisitions comes from Article 10 of the 2021 Annual Town Meeting, in which voters endorsed a $6.5 million bonding authorization for affordable housing initiatives.

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