Friday, June 13, 2014

Affordable Housing Celebration

 Tenants will first start moving in July 1 with complete occupancy by first snow

Tents protected about 75 spectators from the drizzle

Federal, state, and local officials converged on a housing construction site near UMass to celebrate the impending occupancy of Olympia Oaks, an affordable 42 unit housing project that has been dreamed about for decades.

And while the weather was a tad dreary this morning, the celebrants were far from it. 

 Rep Jim McGovern (left) HAP Housing CEO Peter Gagliardi (right)

John Musante could not be present, as his mother just passed away.  But Dave Ziomek quoted a recent conversation he had with the Town Manager:  "It's not about the number of units.  It's about people; it's about family; it's about community."

The Assistant Town Manager closed with, "We welcome Olympia Oaks to the community of Amherst."

Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek:  "Amazing site, amazing location."  Also mentioned the birds and frogs he spotted or could hear on site

Representative Ellen Story wants to bring her 8-year-old granddaughter here to play someday


O/A said...

And it was designed locally by Amherst's Kuhn Riddle Architects!

Anonymous said...

"It's not about the number of units. It's about people; it's about family; it's about community."

Sounds like something John learned from his Mother! (her memorial service was very nice)

Anonymous said...

How does this affect our affordable housing requirement?

Anonymous said...

"How does this affect our affordable housing requirement?"

An understandable practical question. But given John (and apparently Claire) Musante's sentiments, I prefer to think of it as an ongoing obligation as opposed to a quantifiable requirement that we can fulfill a mandate for and then move on from.

We're lucky to have him as a leader.

Congratulations to all who contributed to making this happen.

Anonymous said...

Fine. But that didn't answer the question.

Anonymous said...

Folks, if you build housing for people other than UMass students on UMass land, then don't be surprised when the UMass students live in your town....

Larry Kelley said...

The state accepted our "Housing Production Plan" which insulates us from a Ch40B development for one year.

If we are below 10% (the threshold to trip a 40B development) but have produced 45 units of affordable housing per year (our target goal) then we are still immune from a 40B.

The Olympia Oaks development was in progress W-A-Y before our Housing Production Plan was accepted by the state so they do not count towards that annual goal.

The last official count by the state put us at 10.8% (without Olympia Oaks).

But we could lose 163 units from Rolling Green (even though we paid a developer $1.25 million to preserve 41 units).

So if that happens, even with Olympia Oaks, we will be below 10%.

Anonymous said...

Sound like we need to buy Echo Village.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like buying Echo Village makes sense.

Anonymous said...

In reality, the so-called "10% threshold" is probably nothing more than a scare tactic to push for even more "affordable" housing ("subsidized" would probably be a better word). Yes, there is a risk that it would allow developers to bypass our zoning bylaw and subdivision regulations. But that "risk" is probably pretty small - it's not like there are big, bad developers out there, pounding at the gates to build affordable housing in Amherst. Look at how long it took to build Olympia Oaks, a relatively small development.