Woodland Meadows Affordable Housing lottery

by beth on April 20, 2016

Post image for Woodland Meadows Affordable Housing lottery

The Southborough Planning Board has posted notice on an upcoming Affordable Housing lottery.

Almost 8 years after the Woodland Meadows 40B development started making headlines, four 2-bedroom affordable units will be allotted.

The 16 unit development will begin accepting homeowner applications from eligible applicants. Three of the units will be awarded based on “local preference”.*

The development on Oak Hill Road is certainly small compared to the Park Central 40B currently in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals. But it had a long, controversial process of its own.

Its history includes apparently contributing to the replacement of a former ZBA Chair (Sam Stivers) in 2011 and another member (Regina McAuliffe) in 2012.

The ZBA came under fire by Woodland Meadows developer Robert Heavey and others. Accusations included dragging their feet on the project and having “an air of disdain” towards development. 

The project was approved in 2010 with restrictions that Heavey considered too stringent. Heavey appealed and reached a settlement with the Town in 2012, with a regulatory agreement signed in June 2013. At that time, construction was forecast to begin soon after.

woodlandmeadows affordable units flyer

(click to open pdf)

The deadline to apply for the affordable units is June 11th. Qualified applicants will be chosen by lottery on Wednesday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m., 2016 in the Town House Hearing Room.

A public information hearing will be held Thursday, May 19, at 6:30 pm in the Town House Hearing Room.

Each duplex unit is 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, and approximately 1,320 square feet with a one car garage.

For details on the lottery and the property, click the flyers to open the pdf files.

woodlandmeadows lottery info

(click to open pdf)

*Local preference is given for three of the four units. Applicants in that pool must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Current Southborough Resident
  • Currently employed by the Town of Southborough
  • Currently employed by the Northborough/Southborough Regional School District
  • Current employee of businesses located in Southborough or who has a bona fide offer of employment in a business located in Southborough
  • Families of students currently attending school in the Northborough/Southborough Regional School District
1 Donna McDaniel April 20, 2016 at 10:29 PM

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We should also be aware that to be able to bid on the house the applicants must have an income equal to a certain amount based on a percentage of the statistics for the metro area and be qualified by a bank for a mortgage. Last I heard about $60,000 was the income the applicant would need. I wish had the numbers but if someone else doesn’t provide that info I’ll check it out.
This is very important to me because when this subject comes up we hear so many people assume that “affordable” is a code word for “low income.” Not true… unless you regard $60,000 as low income–I certainly don’t.
For those who do have a low income, there are two homes in town funded by the state/ federal governments. Many of us pass by one of the two, if not both, almost every day but I doubt anyone notices anything revealing their occupants are low income Those two are under the aegis of the Southborough Housing Authority (managers of Colonial Gardens too.).
Just a little beware of stereotypes warning.

2 beth April 21, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Donna, the qualifying requirements are in the document that is included in the story. Household income is shown as linked to the number in the household.

3 Donna McDaniel April 22, 2016 at 11:07 PM

Yes…so glad to see it all spelled out to illustrate, as I said, that “affordable housing” is not low income housing, as some believe before they’ve seen this information. Please take the few minutes to look over the requirements to be met even to apply for the lottery and then the information that must be provided by every applicant.
The town hires a consultant who specializes in overseeing the necessary preliminaries and the lottery that determines who will be the owner.

4 beth April 23, 2016 at 10:38 AM

There are other criteria beyond income. But for income, the $60,000 you referenced is inaccurate. That’s close to the max for a 3 person household. But for a single person, the max income is $46,000 and goes up to $71,000 for a family of five. I just don’t want to leave readers with the impression that a single person making $60,000 can qualify.

5 Donna McDaniel April 27, 2016 at 9:18 AM

Good point… didn’t think of that but I would argue that few single people would be
looking for one of these units… and I also don’t think a lot of people not interested in bidding for a unit and those who insist that “affordable” is code for low income. This is a perpetual problem and I still hear people believe and worth counteracting… so drawing attention is, I think, worthwhile. And a did say something about just giving an idea of the mortgage and saying I didn’t have all the figures.

A new note: Colonial Gardens is for low-income elderly and is managed completely by the state…we do elect one member to the Southborough Housing Authority.
AND… important — it has very specific state-determined income guidelines so it is
an alternative only for elders meeting the “low income” is defined. It is also open to handicapped people of any age.

And one more–although too late, it seems. It occurs to me that in the existing places built for seniors there is a certain higher-than-usual rate of, shall we say, vacancies? So at any one time there is likely to be at least one, sometimes two, vacancies in Southborough Meadows and other “over 55” developments–we are all getting older!–plus some would move to go to assisted living.

I’d suggest that some attention to this should be paid… building new ones with vacancies in older ones may not be sensible.

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