Sachem’s Path to Bring Affordable Housing to Nantucket

Lou Gennaro (from left), president of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity Nantucket; Nantucket architect Mickey Rowland; HAC CEO Frederic (Rick) Presbrey; Anne Kuszpa, executive director for Housing Nantucket; Renee Ceely, executive director for the Nantucket Housing Authority; and Richard Brannigan, vice chair of the Nantucket Community Preservation Committee. This was taken at the Sachem’s Path kick off in August.

Lou Gennaro (from left), president of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity Nantucket; Nantucket architect Mickey Rowland; HAC CEO Frederic (Rick) Presbrey; Anne Kuszpa, executive director for Housing Nantucket; Renee Ceely, executive director for the Nantucket Housing Authority; and Richard Brannigan, vice chair of the Nantucket Community Preservation Committee. This was taken at the Sachem’s Path kick off in August.

NANTUCKET – More than 300 Nantucket residents have expressed an interest in applying for one of the 40 new affordable homes being built in the Sachem’s Path development.

The first houses may be completed in the fall.

Housing Assistance Corporation is building 36 of the homes in the development and Habitat for Humanity is building the other four units.

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Housing Assistance Corporation CEO Rick Presbrey said most of the funding is in place as is the infrastructure. “We’ll start construction of the actual houses in April,” he said.

The Nantucket Housing Authority controls the land and hired HAC to build the project. The homes will range in price from under $200,000 to just under $500,000.

The median house price on Nantucket is about $750,000, Presbrey said.

“For people who are working for a paycheck, buying a house for $700,000 is just way out of their price range. People cobble together living here, there or everywhere,” he said. “Everytime I go over there and I take a cab or something like that and I mention it to the cab driver or the waitress or the newspaper reporter and they all say the same thing, ‘Where can I get on the list? There’s a huge need,” he said.

The community will be located on ten acres off Surfside Road, between Miacomet and South Shore roads.

Sachem’s Path will consist of 40 one-, two- and three-bedroom single-family homes. Each home will have its own yard and private driveway. The homes are designed to be energy efficient.

The homes will be priced to be affordable for mid-income islanders—those making under 150 percent of Nantucket County’s median income (approximately $60,900 and $190,000 annually). The homeowners must be able to qualify for a standard mortgage from a bank.

Housing Assistance Corporation, a 40-year-old nonprofit agency based in Hyannis, is constructing the project for the Nantucket Housing Authority. The Town of Nantucket donated the land for the purpose of affordable housing decades ago.

Presbrey said HAC will be building the project in two phases. There are affordable housing rental developments, Presbrey said, but there have also been failures in affordable housing on the island.