Frequently Asked Questions:
North Shore Community Development Coalition Purchase of
1-3 Powder House Lane, Manchester
What’s Happened? At the introduction of CIMAH (Citizens Initiative for Manchester Affordable Housing), a non-profit, community-oriented developer has agreed to purchase 29 existing rental units located right in Manchester’s downtown. Rents for these units are in a range considered affordable by state standards.
If the buyer, North Shore Community Development Coalition (NSCDC), can complete this purchase and get these units listed on the State’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI), Manchester will move into the so-called “Safe Harbor” within Chapter 40B. This will give our Town two years during which 40B proposals may be deferred; one example is that proposed by SLV for Shingle Hill.
Speed is of the essence and your help is urgently needed to complete this transaction and assist the Town in moving towards Safe Harbor.
What are the Details? North Shore Community Development Coalition (NSCDC) has signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement to purchase 1-3 Powder House Lane, a multifamily complex composed of five buildings constructed between 1965 and 1972. They contain two studio units, 13 1-BR units and 14 2-BR units. Subject to NSCDC’s due diligence, it expects to close the transaction in April or early May.
Why? Studies prove that diverse, inclusive towns are stronger towns. Housing for people of all incomes is an important part of strengthening our Town.
Mass DHCD (Department of Housing and Community Development) maintains the SHI, which is the official register of deed-restricted affordable housing recognized by the State. Affordable housing may appear on the SHI through several paths, including:
Building new housing units that qualify under 40B;
Rehabbing existing structures to become affordable housing (old schools, for example);
Placing deed restrictions on existing “naturally affordable” but unrestricted housing.
NSCDC and its allies for the betterment of the Town are following the third path. That is, they will place deed restrictions on the Powder House Lane housing units which are already “naturally affordable.”
Manchester has set a goal of having 10% or more of its housing stock on the SHI, which is the minimum under Chapter 40B. Once NSCDC purchases the Powder House Lane property, it will work with the Town to seek DHCD approval of the property’s listing on the SHI. If DHCD approves the Town’s request to place the property on the SHI, it will grant Safe Harbor status to Manchester for two years under Chapter 40B.
During those two years, the Town will have much greater control over development of affordable housing in Town and can implement existing strategies to remain in Safe Harbor. Doing this will be an enormous step forward for Manchester. With leadership from our Affordable Housing Trust and our Board of Selectmen, we can take long-postponed steps to preserve and enhance our Town’s diversity and inclusion.
Where? The buildings are located in the heart of Manchester, at the north end of Elm Street, behind Seaside Cycle Bicycle Shop. It is an ideal pedestrian-oriented location.
How? NSCDC is financing its purchase with a combination of commercial bank debt and equity contributed by citizens of the Town. An independent Capital Campaign Committee, under Leslie Hammond’s leadership, has formed to provide the equity. In a very short period of time, donors have already committed more than 80% of the $1.25 mm of equity needed. Several of these donors have been so excited about this project that they have stepped forward to match all donations one-for-one until the full equity is raised. We expect very quickly that this opportunity to support NSCDC, the Town and the tenants of PHL will be fully subscribed.
Those who wish to pledge a donation towards the purchase should print out the pledge form and send it to Leslie Hammond at her home (10 Brookwood Road, Manchester, or by email at LWHammond@me.com). All pledges will be earmarked specifically for this project. Once the equity is raised in full, the one-for-one match will end.
Who? Salem-based NSCDC is a mission-driven non-profit developer with a strong reputation, 501(c)(3) status and 40 years of experience. It is dedicated to serving low- and moderate-income families and has developed 400 apartment units across the North Shore.
The board of the Manchester Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) is considering whether it wishes to receive funds in support of this transaction. If it does so, donors may give to MAHT, earmarked specifically for this project. Such donations would more clearly express the commitment of the Town to this important transaction. MAHT is the 501c3 established by the Town in 2016 to increase the diversity of Manchester’s housing options available to the Town’s low- and moderate-income households. If MAHT does not so vote, then all donations will be made to NSCDC.
How Can I Help? Pledge now, send a check later (we will reach out as soon as we can facilitate your checks!). Through your pledges, please share in the good work of the Capital Campaign Committee and of NSCDC. The Committee welcomes all pledges, of any size.
Upon the completion of due diligence and prior to closing, the Committee will request that donors convert their pledges to gifts of cash and/or securities. The closing, subject to due diligence, will occur no earlier than April 10th and no later than May 15th. Gift amounts will bekept confidential; donors’ names will be disclosed post-closing unless they request to give anonymously. All gifts will be fully tax-deductible.
How Will The Property Operate? NSCDC will lease any vacant units to income-eligible tenants in accordance with State guidelines. Property management will be performed by Peabody Properties, Inc., a well-respected property manager whose standards are similar to those excellent ones of the property’s long-time owner and property management employees. Minimal renovations appear to be warranted on the property, including the installation of sprinklers.
How Else Might NSCDC Help on Affordable Housing in Manchester? NSCDC also intends to submit a proposal in response to the Request for Proposals that MAHT plans to issue in May. NSCDC has the potential to become a valuable ally in fulfilling the Town’s affordable housing objectives.