By Keith Regan, Community Reporter
Northborough – If Town Meeting voters approve a $500,000 transfer of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to the Affordable Housing Corporation later this month, distribution of the money will be controlled by the Board of Selectmen until a potential housing project is identified.
Affordable Housing Corporation Treasurer Rick Leif told the selectmen April 13 that the group wants to build on momentum created by the construction and leasing of four affordable apartments last year. All units have been full since last July, he said.
But the project left the corporation with no appreciable funds to work with on future projects. The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) has proposed turning over $500,000 of affordable housing reserves to the corporation, a proposal voters will take up at the April 27 Town Meeting.
Because no specific project has yet been identified, the funds will remain in town hands and under the control of selectmen. If the funds are not used within two years, they will be returned to the CPC.
Leif said the AHC is looking for additional projects “in the four to 10 unit range,” and could partner with the town’s Housing Authority or Greater Worcester Habitat for Humanity to create the housing.
Selectmen would be able to release all or part of the funds to explore potential projects as they come up, eliminating the need for the corporation to wait for another funding cycle.
“This will give us some flexibility,” Leif said.
In other business, selectmen voted to accept the donation of a 5-acre parcel of land off Smith Road from Barry Eager as part of the Tri-Town Landscape Project.
And the board applauded a decision by the Northborough Rotary Club to return the street fair portion of Applefest to the streets of downtown. The event had been staged at Algonquin Regional High School in recent years because it offered more space but Rotary President Chuck Frankian said the group felt the multiple locations detracted from the continuity of the event.
“For me, the crowded downtown is part of the charm,” said Selectman Jason Perrault.