KITTERY, Maine — Accent dwelling items might begin popping up round city as a option to deal with the inexpensive housing disaster.
A Kittery grant program, funded by a portion of the cash the city obtained from the federal American Rescue Plan, will assist create inexpensive housing items on properties the place single-family properties exist already. The city will use the cash to assist owners financially profit from taking up these initiatives.
By a unanimous vote of the City Council Monday night, upwards of $100,000 shall be given to 2 city households in a pilot program for the aim of making two new inexpensive accent dwelling items on their properties.
The thought was crafted by the Kittery Housing Committee, which started as a working group in 2019 earlier than its institution as a proper standing committee final yr. A complete of $150,000 from the American Rescue Plan was beforehand directed to be added to the housing reserve.
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City Supervisor Kendra Amaral ready a report for the City Council, calling the pilot accent dwelling unit grant program the “most direct and quick” methodology of creating new inexpensive housing items on the town.
“This addresses the (extreme) scarcity of housing, which is in flip driving up rents and housing costs,” Amaral wrote.
Who in Kittery is eligible for pilot program?
Amaral acknowledged the method for choosing the 2 grant recipients within the pilot program has not but been established. Nevertheless, candidates have to be at or decrease than the 80% space median earnings, as outlined by MaineHousing for the York-Kittery-South Berwick space.
Tenant candidates for the accent dwelling unit buildings should meet the identical monetary necessities.
The price of lease have to be at or under MaineHousing’s voucher cost customary for the York-Kittery-South Berwick area.
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Amaral stated that within the final yr alone, 9 new accent dwelling items have been created in Kittery.
“Fairly truthfully, ADUs (are) acknowledged by the state as a key part in addressing inexpensive housing,” Amaral stated at Monday’s City Council assembly.
What are accent dwelling items?
The 2 grant recipients shall be awarded as much as $50,000 for an ADU, a separate residential unit from the primary single-family house. In Kittery, ADUs will be situated inside the present construction, hooked up to the present construction, or constructed as a separate construction on the property. Grant funds may also be used for allowing and the unit’s building.
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Owners chosen for the grants would have sole management over who they choose as a tenant, as long as these people meet the earnings necessities. Pointers for the grant program say the items have to be constructed inside two years of the grant being awarded.
“The grantee will need to have the ADU design accomplished and a contract with a builder inside 6 months of grant notification and/or acquire a constructing allow (if performing the work on their very own),” a proposed timeline on Amaral’s report reads.
Housing Committee, City Council members sign help
Honest Tide government director and Housing Committee member Emily Flinkstrom wrote a letter to the City Council saying the accent dwelling unit pilot program was shaped after months of analysis of comparable packages carried out round America.
“By concentrating on candidates with reasonable incomes, this program is designed to profit a number of households. The ADU gives an inexpensive house to of us who might in any other case be priced out of Kittery,” she wrote. “For the owners, the rental earnings provides a lot wanted monetary safety. These outcomes are achieved by a comparatively nominal funding when in comparison with the price of constructing new housing items.”
Matt Brock, chairperson of the Housing Committee, was requested Tuesday if there’s a attainable loophole within the pilot program that might permit for chosen grant recipients to lease out the accent dwelling items to relations. He acknowledged that’s attainable.
“However this isn’t about having a home-owner create a unit and a member of the family can simply stay there free,” he stated. “We’re attempting to create incentives for the owners to get earnings and somebody who can not presently dwell in Kittery to have that chance.”
Ought to the pilot program achieve success, the Housing Committee would report again to the City Council sooner or later on whether or not extra funding ought to be devoted towards increasing this system.
City Councilor Cameron Hamm stated Monday he needs there have been extra choices for city renters like himself, significantly when confronted with upkeep points inside their residences.
“So the extra freedom of selection we can provide Kittery, the extra we will strengthen our inexpensive housing, is a wonderful, glorious objective and a very good transfer,” he stated.
The council’s new chairperson, Judy Spiller, expressed related approval. “It’s very thrilling, very modern,” she stated.
Questioned by Councilor Colin McGuire about when the advertising and marketing for this system would possibly start, Amaral stated, “I’d guess by the spring is our hope to get this on the market.”
Housing Committee credited with sparking amendments to city land-use language
Amaral’s report credited the Housing Committee with establishing the housing reserve, permitting housing improvement in Kittery’s C-1 and C-3 zones and “establishing a compulsory inexpensive housing part for developments of 5 or extra items.”
“ADU’s have been stalled as (an) strategy on the town for a few years primarily as a result of the code was developed to limit ADU’s, particularly put in a cap on what number of ADU’s may very well be added,” Amaral stated Monday. “As soon as we began to strategy this as an inexpensive housing strategy and tried to shift the desk to taking a look at ADU’s an natural option to enhance the housing inventory on the town, we now have elevated the variety of ADU’s by 52%.”
The Housing Committee additionally fought for amendments to the city’s Title 16 land-use code to permit for extra accent dwelling items previously, which the City Council authorized.
“There are adjustments which were made and can proceed to be made to encourage higher density and extra inexpensive housing in Kittery,” Brock stated.
Stipulations for the pilot program shall be in place for a decade and shall be enforced by a deed restriction executed and recorded with the grant and with municipal liens.
This text initially appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Kittery program for accent dwelling items inexpensive housing disaster