News

Waltham affordable housing project to break ground in May

WALTHAM — A Waltham affordable housing project about a decade in the making is now expected to be ready for occupancy later this year, according to Addison County Community Trust Executive Director Elise Shanbacker.
The McKnight Lane Affordable Housing Development, on the Vergennes border on the west side of South Maple Street, will offer seven modular duplexes on the 2.3-acre site that once housed the Gevry Trailer Park.
Depending on the number of members in families, the homes — built by Vermont company VerMod and described as “Net Zero high performance” — will be available for renters with incomes that range from below $29,820 for individuals to $42,600 for households with four members, according to community trust documents.
Shanbacker is optimistic folks can begin to move in by the end of 2016.
“We are anticipating beginning lease up in November or December of this year,” she wrote in an email.
Shanbacker said the Addison County Community Trust — ACCT for short — received its Act 250 permit in mid-April and plans to close on its construction financing by mid-May, allowing for a late-month ground-breaking. Other permits, including Waltham zoning approval, were already in hand.
Including the March 25 land purchase from former owners Rheal and Gail Gevry, the project cost is estimated at $3 million. A blend of affordable housing tax credits, Vermont Housing Conservation Board backing and a Community Development Block Grant is providing project funding.
The project is named after Shanbacker’s predecessor as ACCT executive director, the late Terry McKnight. McKnight worked for years to make this project — one of a number of affordable housing developments, apartment buildings and mobile home parks the trust oversees in the county — become a reality.
McKnight first met with the Waltham Planning Commission in February 2010 to propose the project, and at that point had already spoken with the Gevrys several times over the previous several years about acquiring their property. The last tenant moved out of the former Gevry Trailer Park in 2009.
Now, things are happening on the ground, starting shortly after the late-March land purchase.
“That (purchase) allowed us to start remediation on two trailers that were found to have asbestos, and we cleared some trees on the property as well,” Shanbacker said. “So already people might notice some changes.”
More is on tap shortly, Shanbacker said — the deteriorating old mobile homes should be gone by the end of this week.
“The next big step people will notice is that the trailers will be removed,” she said.
Last week, ACCT also reached an agreement with Vergennes to cooperate on a sidewalk to be extended almost 500 feet to the site along South Maple Street. The trust had budgeted for gravel, but the city said it could not easily plow and maintain a gravel sidewalk. The city and ACCT struck a deal in which ACCT will prep for the sidewalk and finish the landscaping, and the city will pave and maintain it.
According to ACCT’s materials, the homes will be placed in “a park-like setting near Otter Creek.” Two homes will be fully handicap accessible. Those interested in leasing a McKnight Lane unit may call the ACCT’s rental office at (802) 877-3749 or email [email protected] for more information.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

Share this story:

More News
Homepage Featured News

Mount Abe school budget fails at ballot box again

Voters in the Mount Abraham Unified School District on Tuesday defeated a proposed $35.9 m … (read more)

News

How are we handling the opioid overdose crisis? Local discussion

Three local professionals will discuss their experiences navigating the opioid crisis Mond … (read more)

News

Middlebury man killed in Weybridge crash

David K. Ricklefs, 53, lost control of the Subaru Impreza he was driving on Morgan Horse F … (read more)

Share this story: