Town officials, funders, and the project team recently gathered at 62 Maple Street, Wenham to officially launch a new senior community, Maple Woods.
Affordable home developer and manager Harborlight Homes, based in Beverly, with project team SV Design and Windover Construction, is creating this much-needed affordable senior community, comprised of 45 one-bedroom apartment homes, with supportive services. Nestled on a quiet 4-acre wooded lot, the new construction facility will support low- and fixed-income seniors ages 62 and up.
As with other Harborlight Homes properties, Maple Woods will not only be affordable, but will also offer on-site property management and service coordination, engagement programming, and van service. A community room, outdoor benches and walking paths will complete the welcoming, peaceful setting. And because nonprofit Harborlight is committed to being a good neighbor, the project will add to the local tax base as well, paying property taxes to the Town of Wenham.
“This is an important project for Wenham and one the community will be proud of,” said Andrew DeFranza, Executive Director of Harborlight. “It is our mission to create homes for our most vulnerable neighbors, amidst a housing crisis across our region and state. Wenham said ‘yes’ to Maple Woods, and we are honored to bring these homes to fruition.”
All units will be built for aging-in-place with ADA accessibility, including support for sensory-impairment needs such as hearing or vision loss (some units). All homes are affordable, intended for those living at 30% and 60% Area Median Income levels. In addition, this project helps Wenham meet the 10% minimum requirement on the DHCD Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI), sometimes referred to as “40B”.
A collaborative effort by the entire project team to bring much needed affordable senior living to the Wenham community
A local funding commitment to Maple Woods of $1,250,000 has been made by the Town of Wenham via the CPA and Wenham Affordable Housing Trust. In addition to MA DHCD, other funding partners include the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust, the Wenham Community Preservation Fund, North Shore HOME Consortium, CEDAC, Affordable Housing Trust of MA, Institution for Savings, Newburyport Bank, MA Housing Partnership, and The Life Initiative.
The late Anthony Feeherry, long-time Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, worked diligently on shepherding this project for Wenham. In a statement made at the time of the groundbreaking, and just prior to his passing, Tony expressed how pleased he was to see Maple Woods reach this important stage. “With this new project, Wenham and Harborlight continue to be at the forefront of affordable housing progress on the North Shore.”
Michael J. Jones, president and CEO, Institution for Savings, stated, “Providing quality affordable housing for our seniors is a critical need across the region and we are happy to partner again with Harborlight Homes to move this project forward. The work that Harborlight does every day to help families and individuals experiencing a housing crisis is truly admirable. When completed, Maple Woods will have a lasting impact on the town of Wenham.”
Project partners include SV Design, Windover Construction, Hancock Associates, CG Engineering, and New Ecology. The project emphasizes sustainability and energy efficiency, and is Energy Star Rated, offers Water Sense Rated low-flow fixtures to conserve water, will have drought tolerant landscaping, and solar panels on the roof.
“Maple Woods will provide seniors with an affordable and serene setting to call home,” said Thad Siemasko, founding Principal at SV Design. “In planning, we carefully considered how best to create a space here for residents to live life to the fullest, and we’re grateful to be a part of bringing this community to Wenham.”
Property amenities include laundry on each floor, community gardens, a computer room, library and common lounge areas. Some units will have private porches and patios. Tile bathrooms, large windows, wood-look vinyl plank floors, and modern kitchen appliances will make this a high-quality affordable residence. Maple Woods will have onsite walking trails adjacent to Conservation Land, and is close to downtown Wenham, MBTA Commuter Rail, and Routes 97 and 128.
“The Windover team is so pleased to be bringing Harborlight’s vision of providing affordable housing for seniors in Wenham to life,” said Stuart Meurer, President and CEO of Windover Construction. “It is so rewarding to witness the impact affordable housing is making on our community and I look forward to this special place being a home for local seniors.”
Construction on Maple Woods began in early 2023. Occupancy will be determined by housing lottery (per Fair Housing policy) for income-qualified seniors. The housing lottery is currently open through September 1, 2023. Housing lottery applications can be accessed at www.harborlighthomes.org. Occupancy is anticipated for early 2024.
Win Dodge, Chair of the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust, stated, “We are delighted Maple Woods is underway, bringing Wenham above the state mandated 10% affordable housing requirement. The Affordable Housing Trust appreciates the support of Wenham citizens and Town officials throughout the long planning process. In addition, we extend special recognition to Harriet Davis, Chair for many years of Wenham’s Community Preservation Committee. She was responsible for allocating Community Preservation funds to the Harborlight project either directly or through the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust.”
More about the project team
Harborlight Homes is a non-profit, MA-certified Community Development Corporation, which develops, manages and advocates for quality, service-enriched housing that is affordable and inclusive. In 12 communities across Boston’s North Shore, Harborlight serves low and fixed-income elders, struggling families, essential workers, those who are disabled, and families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Harborlight Homes collaborates with communities to cultivate just, equitable and sustainable housing opportunities. www.harborlighthomes.org.
Windover Construction of Beverly, MA is a global leader in construction management and innovation. Dedicated to the core purpose of building great things with great people, Windover creates state-of-the-art commercial and institutional spaces, urban multi-family communities, and select custom homes. A 100% employee-owned firm, Windover works with clients to provide construction management, design-build, and virtual design and construction services. www.windover.com
SV Design specializes in beautiful and functional architecture and interiors that transform lives through exceptional design. For more than three decades, SV Design has built a reputation from Boston’s North Shore to the Cape and beyond for residential, institutional, non-profit, academic, and many other community spaces of character and integrity. SV Design’s multidisciplinary team engages closely with clients to identify opportunities, anticipate challenges, and steward projects from site planning to the details of décor. www.svdesign.com.