Affordable housing talks continue in Hamilton

The Salem News | By Arianna MacNeill
December 5, 2016

gordon-conwellHAMILTON — Town officials are considering multiple locations for new affordable housing in an attempt to meet state requirements for the town.

Officials recently entered into a host community agreement with Harborlight Community Partners, a Beverly-based organization that builds housing for low- to moderate-income families throughout the region.

Though multiple neighbors spoke strongly against it at the last selectmen’s meeting, affordable housing is still under consideration for 13 Essex St. Harborlight and the town are also looking at a 20-acre parcel on Longmeadow Way, as well as empty land at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary at 130 Essex St.

The site on the seminary campus is toward the back — near the intersection of Bridge Street and Miles River Road. The Longmeadow property is near the high school. Longmeadow Way itself is a private way.

Andrew DeFranza, executive director for Harborlight, said a 3-acre site at 560 Bay Road was discussed as a fourth potential location at a recent meeting of the town’s Affordable Housing Trust. Tom Ford, a local developer, owns the property.

It’s unclear right now if any of the locations will work, DeFranza said, but the town will determine their viability as part of the process.

DeFranza said Hamilton isn’t the only community where Harborlight has faced critical comments from property abutters and residents.

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