Clarity about the redevelopment of Lee Fort Terrace
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
A visitor to our website today expressed concern and confusion related to the following statement made on the Facebook page of "Steve Dibble for Mayor" today:
"Later in the evening I spoke to the residents on Settlers Way in Ward 1. Listened to the residents and heard their concerns regarding the current plans for Lee Fort Terrace which includes luxury apartments on top of senior housing instead of more senior housing."
This comment is misleading, and gives us an opportunity to help clear up confusion and speculation about this project. Lee Fort Terrace is a property of the Salem Housing Authority. The SHA has selected Beacon Communities of Boston to partner with them in redeveloping the property. The Salem Housing Authority, the Salem community, and the residents of Lee Fort Terrace and its neighborhood, are still in discussions with Beacon Communities to determine the exact plans for what will eventually be redeveloped on this property. As of yet, there is no final plan for the property and it is important to note that no matter what, there will be no distinction between the quality of units built; in fact, making such a distinction when building the property would be illegal. Whether someone qualifies to pay a lower amount for their apartment or not, every resident of the property will end up in newly constructed, built-to-last units, and the goal of the project is that they will be climate resilient, environmentally positive apartments, and every unit will be of the same quality as every other unit.
The law that ensures that all units must be constructed to the same level of quality is explained here:
This project, which will fall into the category of what is often referred to as a "Friendly 40B" affordable housing project will be held to the guidelines laid out in the "Massachusetts DHCD 40B Comprehensive Permit Projects - Subsidized Housing Inventory" which you can read about in much more detail, here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/guidelines-gl-c40b-comprehensive-permit-projects-subsidized-housing-inventory/download
Additionally, since this is a project of the Salem Housing Authority, every current resident will be temporarily relocated to another home at the developer's expense during the construction phase, and, once the construction is complete, they will have the option to return to Lee Fort Terrace, or to remain in their temporary location. No one will be displaced as a part of this update to the property. This following statement is from the website that has been created for this project:
To learn more about this project, visit: https://courbanize.com/projects/leefort-terrace/faq