Sign-up underway for Benfield senior housing lottery

by Karina Coombs

The upcoming lottery for senior affordable apartments at Benfield Farms topped the agenda at the July 11 meeting of the Housing Authority. Lottery applications must be received or postmarked by Monday, September 9 at noon. The lottery drawing will be held the following week at Town Hall on September 18 at 1 p.m.

Housing Coordinator Elizabeth Barnett explained that those interested in an apartment would first need to fill out a preliminary lottery application, noting annual income and assets. Once the property management company, Peabody Properties, receives the application and verifies the information, individuals will be contacted by mail before the lottery drawing.

Roughly 2/3 reserved for locals

A two-phase lottery will be held, to include local preference. Local preference is granted for a current resident of Carlisle or a town or municipal employee. Once local preference applicants have been verified, those names will be mixed with minority applicants to match the demographics of the entire Boston area. A total of 70% of units will be drawn from this first pool. Non-local individuals will then be mixed with the remaining local preference group for the second drawing of remaining units. Barnett noted that local preference gets two chances of getting a unit during the drawing.

An information session explaining the process will be held at Town Hall on August 14 at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Applications for the lottery may be picked up at the Council on Aging at Town Hall, or by calling Peabody Properties at 1-978-369-2400. Applications and additional information on financial qualifications, as well as project photos, apartment floor plans and amenities may also be found on the Benfield Farms website: www.benfieldfarmsapts.com.

Meeting with DHCD

Once Benfield Farms is completed, the town is looking to build affordable family housing, perhaps on the Banta-Davis Land, as well as group housing for the developmentally disabled on the Goff property at 338 Bedford Road.

Barnett, Housing Authority Chair Alan Lehotsky, Selectmen Doug Stevenson and John Williams and Affordable Housing Trust Chair Greg Peterson had a meeting with Under Secretary Aaron Goldstein of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on July 1. The group met informally for 90 minutes to discuss Goff and future development at Banta-Davis. Lehotsky explained that the group met to explain the projects and ask what Carlisle could do to ensure state funding in a timely manner.

According to Lehotsky, the state considers Carlisle a “priority community” because of the schools, but since a lot of towns are looking for money, they are unable to promise the funds will be available when requested.

Housing Coordinators and Planners Network

In other business, Barnett reported that a network she initiated in November 2011 was finally getting recognition from the state and offers of support. The Housing Coordinators and Planners Network is a professional resource and support for individuals involved in affordable housing in some capacity.

Barnett explained that like Carlisle, other small towns also shared development constraints because of a lack of infrastructure—no public water and the need for septic systems for example. The group meets once per month for discussions, to learn about changes to affordable housing laws, answer each other’s questions and learn about neighboring developments. ∆