Housing Assistance Corporation has added to the much-needed housing inventory on Cape Cod with the completion of the Lofts at 57 on Ridgewood Avenue in Hyannis.
The mixed-income development creates a pocket neighborhood: three buildings around a central green that includes six market-rate apartments and two affordable apartments. All eight have been rented and tenants are moving into the apartments this month.
The property revitalizes the neighborhood by transforming what had long been a blighted vacant lot, only zoned for a single-family home. The property location, close to Main Street shops, Cape Cod Hospital and other town activity centers made it ideal for multi-family community housing.
Housing Assistance purchased the vacant .7-acre lot in late 2017, working with town officials to turn the property into rental housing. The Town of Barnstable provided $550,000 in funding, through Community Preservation Act funds as well as its Affordable Housing Growth Development Trust Fund, that was critical to moving the Lofts at 57 forward.
“It is an impressive display of teamwork and multiple sources of funding coming together for community housing,” said Alisa Magnotta, Housing Assistance CEO. “When we have long been trying to fight zoning battles, this is a good testament to the housing possibilities in our region and what you can do on a three-quarter-acre lot.”
“We definitely have a need for rental housing,” Barnstable Housing Coordinator Arden Cadrin said. “This helps meet that need. Housing Assistance was able to take a relatively small lot and build eight beautiful new apartments. It’s quite an achievement and I think it looks amazing.”
The pocket neighborhood was the first that Housing Assistance built modularly in order to pilot an approach that could reduce construction time and costs significantly. Construction began in January 2020 and continued through the pandemic. Even with delays related to piloting a new approach and the pandemic, Housing Assistance was able to achieve a much lower than average construction cost per unit than traditional affordable housing developments.
The majority of the tenants are young professionals and include a videographer, airline pilot, and those in the hospitality industry. Housing Assistance will serve as the property manager for the Lofts at 57.
“We’re excited to see this complete. Now we have this beautiful little community which is great,” Housing Assistance Director of Development and Planning David Quinn said. “There’s a huge demand for rentals on the Cape, especially one- and two-bedrooms for people who are looking for smaller sized units and that’s what we’re providing here.”
Housing Assistance is a 46-year-old nonprofit based in Hyannis, whose mission is to ensure that all on Cape Cod and the Islands have a safe, stable, decent place to live. Housing Assistance operates four homeless shelters on Cape Cod; develops affordable housing; oversees Section 8 vouchers for the region; conducts foreclosure counseling; holds educational workshops for first-time homebuyers and those looking to rebuild their credit; and keeps residents in their homes through its homelessness prevention program. To learn more about Housing Assistance programs and services visit www.HAConCapeCod.org.