Southborough, one of the communities that we featured in Massachusetts Housing Partnership's new guidebook on Municipal Affordable Housing Trusts, is creating its third local-initiative affordable housing unit in a very resourceful way. The Southborough Housing Trust purchased a modest single-family house to convert from market rate to an affordable homeownership unit. Other communities have done similar projects through a housing trust, however what makes this project uncommon is that the rehabilitation is being done by students.
According to a post on mysouthborough.com, the students from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School are doing electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work on the house - saving the Town lots of money. The funding needed to complete work on the house that is not being done by the students (including the septic system) is from Southborourgh's Community Preservation Act funds.
An excerpt from mysouthborough.com:
The day I visited, the little house was crowded with about 30 students from the electrical, plumbing, and carpentry programs at Assabet. It was controlled chaos. Everyone had a job to do, and they all seemed happy to be doing it. From moving in a new bathtub, to wiring up electrical outlets, to hauling plywood, to clean up.