The Salem News | By Arianna MacNeill
November 22, 2016
HAMILTON — Town lawmakers are considering three potential sites for a new affordable housing complex.
Selectmen are now charged with deciding if the town will proceed with becoming a host community to any of the three sites, allowing Harborlight Community Partners of Beverly to explore developing 40B housing there.
The three sites include a 20-acre parcel on Longmeadow Way, which was slated for 108 units but was asked to be put on pause by the town. The other two sites are 13 Essex St. and the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary at 130 Essex St.
A broad range in the number of units could go on any of the sites, from 24 up to 70.
“In all of our discussions I’ve never heard a number higher than 70,” said Peter Britton of the town’s Affordable Housing Trust.
All of the sites were reviewed by the trust, following a meeting with the Board of Health and a joint meeting with the Planning Board. The landowners in each case came forward, stating they would be interested in affordable housing at their property, according to Britton.
Hamilton is in an affordable housing crunch — just 3 percent of the town’s housing is affordable (under federal and state guidelines), which is well below the required state threshold of 10 percent.