At their Dec. 6 meeting, the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (the Trust) became the owner of an affordable three-bedroom home at 23 Winterberry Way. Earlier, on Nov. 29, the Trust voted unanimously to reaffirm the town’s first right of refusal to purchase the property, to approve the purchase and sale agreement, and to authorize the Town Manager to execute the purchase and sale agreement on behalf of the Trust.
The purchase price was $271,350, which will be the sale price when the home is eventually renovated and sold to a qualified buyer, plus any expenses incurred during the Trust’s ownership.
The next steps are to proceed with transferring the utilities, prepare to winterize the home, and to select an agency to carry out the renovation. One suggestion has been to partner with Habitat for Humanity but this has not yet been determined. The town is working to obtain a quote on clearing out the property. It is in need of extensive repair and renovation.
To summarize: in August the town learned that the owners of 23 Winterberry Way, who had lived in the home since 1996, intended to move away from Bedford. Three-bedroom homes are a desirable part of the town’s inventory of affordable homes. This is the point at which the Trust comes into play and this is exactly the purpose for which the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust was established in the General Laws of the Commonwealth. (M.G.L. Chapter 44, Section 55C.)
“The Municipal Housing Trust exists for the purpose of creating and preserving affordable housing in Bedford for low and moderate income householders.” When a property such as 23 Winterberry Way becomes available, the Trust is the “instrument” through which a purchase and sale agreement may be executed.
The Town Manager, two members of the Select Board, and members of the Bedford Housing Partnership serve on the Trust. There are currently two vacancies for “At Large” members. Anyone interested in joining is urged to speak with a member of the Volunteer Coordinating Committee.