Project name: Both Meadow
What is it? Four affordable cape-style homes in the hamlet of Keene.
Who are the developers? The Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, along with the Town of Keene and the Keene Housing Task Force.
How does it work? The land was sold at a discount to HAPEC by former Keene Supervisor Tom Both and his wife Alaina in the 2000s for affordable housing. A potential funding source finally became available for the project this year under a new initiative called the New York State Affordable Homeownership Opportunity Program.
Who will be eligible to purchase these homes? People earning up to 100% of Area Median Income, or roughly $76,000.
What is the cost? The project cost is $1.4 million.
What makes the homes affordable? The state program will subsidize the difference between what the homebuyers can afford (somewhat less than $200,000) and the cost of the house (somewhat more than $300,000). In addition, the land costs were mitigated by the Both family and HAPEC, and the Town of Keene used covid-related funding for road and utility work.
Will these homes remain affordable through the years? Yes. The homeowner retains a right to sell, but through the Adirondack Community Housing Trust some of the profit would be churned back into the program, a “repeating” subsidy of sorts to keep the home affordable for 99 years.
Can this project be repeated elsewhere? HAPEC believes it can, thanks to the Affordable Homeownership Opportunity Program, which focuses on small housing projects, the sort that are needed in the Adirondack Park, something that has been lacking up to this point.
What happens now? HAPEC is awaiting final funding approval from the state, at which point it will work with the town of Keene and the Housing Task Force will determine how the sales will be handled, and to whom.
— Tim Rowland