AGAWAM — Construction is underway on Way Finders’ Rosewood Way mixed-income housing complex. At an informational meeting in late March, Amanda Bubon, vice president of compliance for property management, shared a video taken in fall 2023 showing the townhouses’ exteriors being built.

“If any of you had the chance to drive by the area, you would know that we’re quite a bit more further along in construction than this,” she said.

Rosewood Way, which will be located at 586 Mill St., Feeding Hills, is being developed under Chapter 40B of state law, which allows it to override the town’s zoning and environmental laws. Municipalities that don’t have 10% of their housing stock enrolled as “affordable housing” can have a 40B project built in them.

In the past, Agawam residents have opposed it due to traffic concerns and questioned if it would benefit the town. In March 2020, the City Council voted against allocating Community Preservation Act funds for it, rejecting both the $564,000 request and an amendment for only $200,000.

In January 2023, Way Finders President and CEO Keith Fairey said the project found its funding elsewhere and construction would begin that year.

At the informational meeting, Bubon said applications have been available since February and will be due May 1. Applications are subject to a lottery. Occupancy should begin in July or August, she said, though construction delays might change that.

Rosewood Way will consist of 62 units, said Bubon, of which 20 will be for households earning 30%  of or below the area median income; 27 will be for those earning 60% or below; and 10 will be for those earning 60% to 110%. The remaining five units will be offered at market rates.

Units reserved for households earning 30% or below will be subsidized and their rents will be capped at 30% of the household’s income. For the rest, rents will vary from $968 per month for a one-bedroom, 60% or below apartment, to $1,750 per month for a three-bedroom, market-rate apartment.

Rents are determined by federal Department of Housing and Urban Development income limits. Bubon warned those are updated every year, meaning they, and rents, are subject to change.

Heat, water, trash removal, and electricity are included in the prices. Apartments will also come with electric stoves and refrigerators. Electric dishwashers will be available in three-bedroom units. Laundry and mail are at the community building, Bubon said. Residents will need parking stickers to park at the complex. There will be some guest parking spaces; guests may need a permit, she said, but that hasn’t been decided yet.

Bubon said some units have “preferences,” meaning they will be offered first to those who meet a requirement. Of those units, eight will be set aside for the federal Section 8 voucher program and 12 will be for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. The majority of each will be set aside for homeless people or those at risk of homelessness.

“Several” apartments, Bubon said, will have a local preference, meaning they will be set aside for people living or working in Agawam, people with children in Agawam public schools, and people offered a job in Agawam.

When applying for those apartments, Bubon said to specify the head of the household’s race or ethnicity. She said Way Finders is required to match the percentage of racial or ethnic minorities in their local preference pool to the percentage of racial or ethnic minorities living in Greater Springfield. Way Finders may add minority applicants who don’t qualify for a locally preferenced apartment to their local preference pool in order to meet that requirement, she said.

The full presentation can be viewed at agawamvod.cablecast.tv/CablecastPublicSite/?site=1. Applications can be submitted online at wayfinders.org or picked up in person at Way Finder’s Springfield Housing Center at 1780 Main St., Springfield. Applications can also be found at Agawam Public Library and Town Hall. Questions can be directed to 413-233-1700 or leaseup@wayfinders.org.

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