In December 2007 Highland Affordable Housing, Inc. was awarded a contract by the Town of Truro and the Truro Housing Authority to design, build and manage an affordable rental duplex dwelling at 53 Shore Road. Our environmentally sensitive and energy efficient design and site plan is appropriate not only to the North Truro village center and surrounding family neighborhood but to the history lost when the 19th-century building that became the early 20th-century Village Hall was truncated in its conversion to a firehouse and later demolished.
We broke ground in December 2008 and completed the 53 Shore Road affordable duplex in our town's Tercentenary, thus honoring the 300th anniversary of Truro's founding by presenting to the town in 2009 a building from our community past reinvented to meet our present pressing needs - both for affordable housing and for environmental husbanding. The duplex was speedily rented to qualified families. We're proud to announce that in January 2010 our building received LEED platinum status - the highest grade awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. There are only two other platinum residential projects on Cape Cod.
The duplex was developed as a Local Initiative Project-40B in concert with the Town of Truro and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). It was affirmatively marketed and preference given to the extent permissible under law to Truro residents or individuals with ties to Truro. Our management partner is the Community Development Partnership (CDP), a locally based non-profit organization founded in 1992 that currently manages more than 45 rental units in seven Lower Cape towns, including one in Truro. In late 2008, our project qualified for participation in the Cape Light Compact's Green Affordable Homes Program, which provided solar panels for the duplex's south-facing roof.
The building consists of two two-bedroom units, each with one full and one half bath. The units are available for families whose maximum income from all sources does not exceed 60 percent of the area median income, and they are rented at rates not to exceed 60 percent of the area median income. HAH supplemented the $350,000 in Community Development funds allocated by Town Meeting to this project with a $50,000 award from the Barnstable County HOME Consortium, and private funds raised through a two-year effort.
The contour and size of the .59 acre lot at 53 Shore Road required careful siting to accommodate septic system, driveway entrance and parking, and to allow for gardening and playground space for the two tenant families. Hadley Crow Studio of Orleans MA provided a detailed architectural design and site plan as well as a conservative construction budget. James Hadley is a registered architect with experience in affordable housing and a specialty in environmentally sensitive and historically appropriate design; Patricia Crow is a registered landscape architect with a background in historic landscape preservation.
The Housing Authority had requested a building that recalled the original Village Hall. Following that design direction in the architectural plans for the duplex, Hadley Crow Studio worked with Connor Homes of Middlebury, VT, on bidding documents. The construction contract was awarded to McShane Construction of Osterville, MA., and Cotuit Solar installed the rooftop PV panels.
Important factors to note in the Hadley Crow design and site plan for 53 Shore Road are the degree to which the building is oriented both to acknowledge the connection on the lot to the old Village Hall/Firehouse and to optimize green-building opportunities: all major spaces have south-facing windows, providing sunlight to the interior and thus passive solar gain to supplement the solar panels made possible by the Green Affordable Homes Program. Each unit has two entries, as required by the Massachusetts building code: the front exits also provide easy access to the parking area; the exits give on the path to the playground and garden areas in the rear of the lot. Native drought resistant grass plantings along the path provide for easy maintenance; there is also be a small front yard facing Shore Road, planted with Cape Cod grass mix, and a swale with native bushes at the rear of the parking area.
The building connects with town water; heating is propane, and the PV panels on the roof produce most of the electricity.