Hardy Street housing project moving forward in Beverly

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Harborlight Community Partners (HCP) is the recent recipient of a $900,000 award from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as part of the department’s new Community Scale Housing Initiative. This award will allow HCP to move forward with a six-unit project on Hardy Street in Beverly intended for families in need of affordable housing.

Local support for this project has been robust; Beverly HOME has awarded $125,000, Beverly Community Preservation Committee has awarded $190,000, and the Beverly Affordable Housing Trust approved $200,000 in funding. North Shore HOME has also committed federal funding of $75,000.

The overall project is estimated to cost $2,310,000. Additional financing is also provided by North Shore Bank and Massachusetts Housing Partnership. Construction will begin in summer 2019 and spring 2020 occupancy is anticipated. This project originated through a unique public/private partnership between Beverly Crossing and HCP that led to the acquisition of the land to create this much-needed family housing. Beverly Crossing owns the vacant parking lot at 2 Hardy St., which was permitted almost three years ago for a six unit building.

In 2017, Beverly Crossing offered to sell this property to HCP for $100 to develop ground-up affordable housing. This was made possible based on the City of Beverly’s very important inclusionary zoning requirements.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to support the work of Harborlight Community Partners,” states Chris Koeplin, president of Beverly Crossing.

“This partnership enables Harborlight to deliver on their mission of Hardy Street housing project moving forward in Beverly developing housing to serve those facing difficult housing challenges. We are honored to have played a part in what will become affordable homes for families in need.”

Mayor Michael Cahill, who has been an advocate of this project and other Beverly housing developments for those across a spectrum of income levels and needs, is happy to see this development move forward.

“The City of Beverly supports this critically-needed affordable housing in every way,” said Cahill. “Thanks to Harborlight Community Partners, Beverly Crossing and DHCD for joining together with the city to provide Beverly families with this opportunity. And, special thanks to Don Bowen for his efforts to minimize the greenhouse gas impacts of this housing and show the way for future green housing construction in Beverly.”

Amy and Don Bowen have enhanced this project further with their generous contribution of solar array which will provide electricity to cover the cost of electricity for HCP’s Hardy Street home, and in turn, the six families that will benefit from the new affordable housing project. Don Bowen also worked with the development team to improve building performance through insulating values, upgrade the windows to triple pane, and maximize mechanical equipment efficiency. In addition, Don Bowen procured a donation of insulation for the project from NiSource, providing additional building efficiency and lower operational expenses.

“We are pleased to support Harborlight Community Partnership and appreciate the hard work by Andrew DeFranza and his team for their dedicated effort to provide affordable housing opportunities throughout the region,” said the Bowens. “This project also provides the opportunity to demonstrate dual stewardship for affordable housing and environmental protection by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology to lower carbon emissions to reduce the impact from climate change. We hope that this project serves as a template for affordable housing in the future for this organization and others.”

The 2 Hardy St. development will consist of six units, each two-bedroom one bath; three are targeted for those earning 50 percent or below of area median income (for a family of four, for example, $53,900) and three for families at 30% area median income (for a family of four, $32,350).

“These homes were made possible by the Community Scale Housing Initiative, an innovative new initiative by DHCD and MassHousing to provide critical funding for small scale projects that fit the local market context and expand housing opportunities in communities across the state,” explains Joe Kriesberg, president of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC).

As is the case with all HCP projects, there is an emphasis to work with local vendors. The Hardy Street project was designed by Beverly-based SV Design.

Tiro Design & Construction will serve as construction manager and Meridian Associates is the project’s civil engineer.

Andrew DeFranza, HCP’s Executive Director, is grateful for the state and local support, as well as this unique way in which the land was acquired.

“In Beverly and surrounding communities, housing that is affordable is scarce and badly needed,” Defranza said. “Finding creative solutions within public and private partnerships such as this are key to meeting local housing goals. We are grateful for DHCD’s Community Scale Housing. Initiative, Beverly Crossing, and the extensive local financial support to get this housing created.”

HCP currently owns, manages, or supports 392 housing units (including first time buyer properties) providing homes for close to 600 people.