Copy of Leverage Publicly Owned Land

Leverage Publicly Owned Land

One of major hurdles of affordable housing development is cost, as the cost to build an affordable home exceeds the cost the developer is allowed to rent or sell it for.

With the cost of land itself making up 15% of the total cost of development*, the City of Salem is exploring leveraging publicly owned land to potentially defray some of these costs.

Housing Development Costs

*Per Massachusetts Urban Projects, 2011-2015.

It has been decades since the Salem Housing Authority constructed any new public housing. However, both the Salem Housing Authority and the City own land that could be considered.

56 Memorial drive

56 Memorial Drive. Click to expand map.

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board has identified a few City-owned properties that may be feasible for new housing, including land at 56 Memorial Drive, which is still owned by the City of Salem.

The preliminary thinking is that the land might be able to accommodate single family starter homes and/or affordable townhouses.

The next step in the evaluation process is to assess the physical site conditions and see if the site proves feasible as a housing site. If it is found to be feasible, the following step will be a community process to discuss housing development opportunities.

Click to expand lot map.

In 1948, the Salem City Council authorized the Salem Housing Authority to reassign honorably discharged veterans of WWII any municipally owned land at the Fort Avenue location. As a result, the lots highlighted below were sold for $15 each to honorably discharged veterans.