After more than eight years of planning, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland will begin building affordable housing in Scarborough this spring.

Habitat won Planning Board approval this week to build a 13-lot, single-family subdivision on land off Broadturn Road that was donated by the town.

It’s the first sign of success for a mostly suburban, rural town that’s been working for a decade to close the homeownership gap for lower-income families. The average single-family house in Scarborough is assessed at about $300,000 and a one-acre lost costs $100,000, said Town Manager Tom Hall.

“It’s a huge step,” Hall said of the Broadturn Road project, which won approval Monday. “It’s something we can build on and look for other partnerships like the one we formed with Habitat.

The $2 million development will be built on a 20-acre parcel that the town bought in 2006 from the Maine Turnpike Authority for $200,000. The subdivision is the largest local undertaking by Habitat, which plans to complete an eight-unit subdivision on Hummingbird Lane in Freeport this summer.

Habitat plans to begin road construction for the Scarborough project in March, have utilities in by summer and start digging foundations by fall, said Mark Primeau, a Habitat development associate.

The houses will be priced around $210,000 each, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,100 to 1,300 square feet of space. They’ll also be designed to be super energy-efficient, so monthly heating and utility costs will be less than $1,000.

“We think it’s going to be a hot project,” Primeau said.

Scarborough has a “severe shortage” of single-family homes that are affordable to first-time buyers and most town employees, according to an affordable housing needs analysis commissioned by the Scarborough Housing Alliance.

Scarborough is one of the most expensive towns in the area in which to build or own a home, pricing out town employees and people who work in the lowest-paying job sectors, such as retail, according to the study.

Hall described the Broadturn Road project as a “labor of love” for the town, noting that it fills a dual purpose of providing workforce housing and land conservation. The development will be built on 5.5 acres and the rest of the parcel will be placed under a conservation easement.

Habitat is seeking buyers for both the Scarborough and Freeport projects, Primeau said.

The Scarborough project started as 12 duplexes and was modified through the years to provide the single-family housing desired in that rural section of town, Primeau said.

Eight houses will be sold through the traditional Habitat model, under which buyers volunteer to build houses and finance the purchase through the organization. Under this model, buyers can earn no more than 60 percent of the area’s median income, depending on household size.

Scarborough’s overall median household income is $75,487, which is well above the national median of $53,046, according to the U.S. Census.

Five houses in the Scarborough project will be sold through a real estate agent to people who qualify because their income is no more than 80 percent of the area’s median income.