Town Looking To Buy First Way Property For Staff Housing

Jason Graziadei •

19 First Way. Town assessor's database photo

The Select Board on Wednesday will be asked to approve and execute a purchase and sale agreement for a property located at 19B First Way which includes a two-bedroom duplex that the town intends to use for affordable housing for municipal employees.

If the town completes the purchase before Oct. 15, the cost will be $950,000. If the deal closes in the month after that date, the price increases to $960,000. Funding from previous Town Meeting warrant articles dedicated for affordable housing purposes will be used by the town to complete the acquisition, according to housing director Tucker Holland.

"Tracy MacDonald and her parents brought this to the town," Holland said. "The two-bedroom duplex unit was recently completely renovated. We are grateful to Tracy and her family for thinking about the town."

If the deal is completed, it would mark the latest in a string of property acquisitions by the town for affordable housing purposes, but the first in recent years that would be move-in ready.

The town has allocated more than $70 million in taxpayer funding for affordable housing projects since 2019. Those funds have resulted in housing for 36 year-round households over the past four years. One ongoing high-profile project - the Wiggles Way affordable apartment complex off Fairgrounds Road - will soon be completed.

But several properties acquired by the town’s Affordable Housing Trust since 2019 - including lots on Orange Street, White Street, Bartlett Road, and off Vesper Lane - remain undeveloped as the trust works through the protracted government procurement and RFP (request for proposals) process simply to settle on a design for the affordable housing projects that will one day occupy those properties.

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