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Ribbon Cutting at Maple Woods, Affordable Senior Housing in Wenham

Harborlight Homes, a nonprofit affordable home developer and manager, celebrated the completion of its newest community, Maple Woods, with project team Windover Construction and SV Design at a ribbon-cutting event on Thursday. The event commemorated the project's success and acknowledged all the stakeholders who helped bring the much-needed affordable housing to Wenham, MA. The ribbon cutting also marked the start of resident move-in.

“We are very happy to have reached this milestone. Maple Woods represents the hard work of many project partners and donors who helped bring this to fruition. Designed for aging in place, it will serve vulnerable seniors for decades to come.”

Andrew DeFranza, Executive Director of Harborlight Homes

The event began with building tours and a MA Senate Citation presented by Senator Bruce Tarr, along with Representative Sally Kerans, and included remarks by several funding partners: Roger Herzog, Executive Director, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), Mark Zink, Senior Vice President, Senior Commercial Lender, Institution for Savings, Clark Ziegler, Executive Director, Mass Housing Partnership (MHP), and John Fitterer, Strategic Marketing Communications Officer of Mass Housing Investment Corp. (MHIC).

In addition, Wenham town representative, Huntley Skinner, of the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust, spoke on behalf of the community, and presentations were made by Rich Modliszewski, Zoning Board of Appeals Chair, and Win Dodge, Wenham Affordable Housing Trust, who honored posthumously Anthony Feeherry and Harriet Davis respectively, with the dedication of benches in their names, for their work and support of Maple Woods.

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Representative Sally Kerans and Senator Bruce Tarr present Harborlight Homes’ executive director, Andrew DeFranza (center) with a Massachusetts Senate Citation in celebration of the completion of Maple Woods, Wenham

Feeherry had worked diligently on shepherding this project for Wenham, and in a statement made just prior to his passing, he expressed how pleased he was to see Maple Woods reach the important groundbreaking stage. “With this new project, Wenham and Harborlight continue to be at the forefront of affordable housing progress on the North Shore.” A third Wenham resident was also honored, the late Robert Burnett, who was the landowner who sold the lot to Harborlight Homes; Burnett stayed committed to seeing the project through over many years.

Nestled on a quiet 4-acre wooded lot, Maple Woods is comprised of 45 one-bedroom apartment homes, all built for aging-in-place with ADA accessibility. As with other Harborlight Homes properties, Maple Woods will not only be affordable – supporting low- and fixed-income seniors but will also offer on-site property management and service coordination, engagement programming, and van service. Amenities include community gardens, a computer room, a library, laundry rooms, a salon, private porches, common lounge areas, and walking paths.

The project emphasizes sustainability and energy efficiency and expects to be LEED Gold Certified. Construction began in early 2023 with a focus on an environment of wellness for the residents and aging in place. The community’s housing lottery closed in September 2023, though interested seniors can be added to the wait list.

“Maple Woods will provide seniors with an affordable and serene setting to call home,” said Thad Siemasko, founding Principal at SV Design. “In planning, we carefully considered how best to create a space here for residents to live life to the fullest, and we’re grateful to be a part of bringing this community to Wenham.”

“The Windover team is proud of our partnership with Harborlight and SV Design to bring this important project to our community, and excited to mark its completion with a celebration,” said Stuart Meurer, President and CEO of Windover Construction. “This project is a testament to true purpose-driven collaboration, and I look forward to this special place being a home for local seniors.”

There is a great need for affordable homes for seniors and people of all ages, evidenced by the number of applications received from elders seeking an affordable place to live. Close to 400 applications were received for the 45 available units, from those who both currently reside in Wenham as well as from communities from across the North Shore, and Greater Boston.