Senior center eyed as possible site for affordable housing

Town looking at different spots for 108-unit project

The Salem News | By Arianna MacNeill
August 22, 2016

senior center hamiltonHAMILTON — A plan to build more affordable housing in town is on hold, as a location has yet to be determined, and a suggestion to put it at the Council on Aging site was met with opposition from some seniors.

Harborlight Community Partners originally proposed building the 108-unit project on a 20-acre parcel on Longmeadow Way, but neighbors opposed it.

Affordable housing is in demand in Hamilton, and the town does not meet the 10 percent threshold of affordable housing that would allow it to reject large developments under the state’s 40B law. But finding a site is not easy.

“There’s a lot of moving parts,” said Andrew DeFranza, executive director of Harborlight, a Beverly-based nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing throughout the North Shore.

Harborlight has site control of the Longmeadow parcel, situated between Hamilton-Wenham High School and Ortins Road. DeFranza said, however, the organization is waiting to see what comes of discussions with town officials.

“They’re talking about a variety of alternatives,” he said. “We’re waiting to see how the town might like us to proceed.”

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