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Affordable Housing Proposal in Falmouth

Falmouth (WGME)

FALMOUTH (WGME) -- 20 acres of land near the Falmouth Police Department is the focus of an affordable housing development proposal from the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland.

Executive Director Godfrey Wood says they'd like to see up to 25 homes in the area.

"The affordability is the hard part, 'cause everyone thinks affordable housing is cheap," says Wood, adding that a 3-4 bedroom home would appraise at close to $300,000.

"That's the price we would be selling them at to our families, but the monthly payments are what make them affordable," says Wood.

The monthly payments, including mortgage, insurance and taxes would not exceed 30% of the family income. So a family making $50,000 a year shouldn't spend more than $15,000 a year on housing.

"We basically loan them part of the purchase price until they sell the house," says Wood.

And the future homeowners are involved in the home building process.

"They all have to work a number of hours to help build their house," says Wood, "They work here in the ReStore, they do community service in the town they'd be living in and we try to partner with them, and they really understand what they're getting."

A similar project already exists in Scarborough. Wood presented this plan to the Falmouth town council last month.

"I think we're encouraged by their response to what we're talking about," says Wood.

President and Chair of the council, Caleb Hemphill, says while the council didn't make any decisions at that meeting, they are open to the idea.

"Habitat for Humanity has had some exemplary projects, Freeport, Scarborough, Windham, and I think it's very much worth considering a similar opportunity for Falmouth," Hemphill says.

Wood says the homes would be energy-efficient, costing about one dollar per square foot for electricity each year. If the proposal moves forward, it would involve public input from Falmouth residents.

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