Those taking a tour of the first dwelling in Heritage Woods check out the kitchen of the 1,688-square-foot, two-story home built by Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust. Five others will be built on the 4.6-acre lot. The homes are the first in trust’s effort to build homes for people who work in town or have roots in the community, but couldn’t afford to live in Kennebunkport. All of the homes have been sold.. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNKPORT – The new, 1,688-square-foot home – the first on Tigerlily Way – is full of light. It is airy and pretty, and the first floor living, kitchen and dining areas are designed as open concept. There is storage on the first floor and on the second, where two of the three bedrooms sport walk-in closets.

At the top of the stairs, there is a bit of a nook where one can visualize a desk, or perhaps a small chair – a quiet place for reading.

Several people took a tour of Paddy Creek, the first of six affordable homes destined for Heritage Woods, an initiative of the Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust. In all, two two-story houses and two, two-unit one story homes are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. Tammy Wells Photo

The home has 21/2 bathrooms. The laundry is on the second floor – a time and step-saver for those who perform that task. The house sports “dense pack” insulation, energy efficient windows, siding and a propane boiler. The kitchen appliances are stainless steel, and there is a kitchen island. And there is a back yard.

The house, dubbed “Paddy Creek,” is the first of six residences to be built in Heritage Woods, through the Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust, formed in 2019 to help families who work here, or have roots here, live here.

“This has been the work of many hands,” said trust board member Patrick Clancy on a tour of the property on Wednesday, July 28.

The homeowners – two adults with two children – were expected move in on July 30, making the new house a home.

While they preferred to remain anonymous. they provided a statement through the trust:

“Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust made our family’s dream come true. It’s been an amazingly fast and easy process and we can’t thank Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust and the Kennebunkport community enough for bringing their vision to fruition. We are so very grateful. As we settle into our new home, we are most looking forward to creating new family traditions, lasting memories and being a part of such a wonderful community. “

Two Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust board members, Patrick Clancy and Sarah Dore, talked about the affordable home project following a tour last week of the first home to be completed. The new owners, a family of four, was scheduled to move in a week ago Tammy Wells photo

The property, 4.6 acres at 126 Main St., was donated to the nonprofit Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust by the town of Kennebunkport. Homebuyers sign a 99-year lease with the trust for the land and pay property taxes to the town of Kennebunkport on their homes. Bangor Savings Bank is financing mortgages.

A portion of the land purposefully remains unbuilt, with the thought that the homeowners would get together and design a play area, or walking trails, said Clancy.

“The hope is to create a sense of community,” he said.

Among those taking the tour were former board members Eileen Lang and Sue Ellen Stavrand, who were early supporters. They helped start Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust and organized fundraisers to get the ball rolling toward the goal.

“I’m impressed, this is lovely,” said Stavrand.

Locating an affordable home in Kennebunkport is not an easy task. Of York County’s 29 municipalities, all but seven are considered unaffordable for working families. Kennebunkport is near the top of the county’s unaffordable list, outpaced only by Ogunquit, according to a housing affordability report released last month by Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission.

According to the commission report, the median home price in Kennebunkport in 2020 was $715,000 and would require a $174,600 income – when the 2020 median income was $92,455.

Those purchasing homes at Heritage Woods were subject to income limits that may differ somewhat, depending on family size and whether the homeowner selects one-story or two-story home. For a four-person household, the minimum income is $48,000, and maximum $63,200 for the one-story home, or $64,000 to a maximum of $90,850 for the two-story home.

Patrick Clancy of the Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust talks about the attributes of Paddy Creek, the first of six affordable homes the trust has undertaken to build, during a recent tour. All six of the homes are under contract, and the owners of this one were to have moved in a week ago. Tammy Wells photo

Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust board member Sarah Dore, in a prior interview, said the overall housing costs in town and the spiraling sales of seasonal homes, has resulted in fewer than 45 percent of the population being year-round residents. Dore noted that the average age of Kennebunkport residents is 65, a figure that is 40 percent greater than the rest of York County. She said that enrollment at Kennebunkport Consolidated School had decreased by 33 percent in the past 10 years and 80 percent of Kennebunkport’s workforce commute into town from neighboring communities.

Dore said Heritage Woods helps two targets, providing energy efficient affordable homes for working families – teachers, public safety personnel, retail workers and others, and returning a property back to the tax rolls – the Heritage Woods land been a tax acquired property for 50 years, she said.

The two, 1,688-square-foot, two-story homes in Heritage Woods each sell for about $297,500. The four 1,200-square-foot, single-story duplex homes sell at about $220,000.

To achieve the housing prices set, the homes are designed to be 76 percent financed by the homeowner, 19 percent through grants and contributions from foundations, and 5 percent through community fundraising.

The modular homes were designed by Caleb Johnson. Hallmark Homes and KBS Builders are the contractors. All are sold.

The buyers were selected through an application process in the first quarter of the year.

The homes are all scheduled to be ready for occupancy by the end of December and are the first to be built by the trust. By 2025, they hope to build 19 more elsewhere within the town’s borders. A note on the trust’s webpage says applications are being accepted for the wait list for future neighborhoods and that review and acceptance of applications will be completed on rolling basis. For more information, visit https://www.khht.org/.

“This is a dream come true, to see families move in here,” said Town Manager Laurie Smith.

“I’m loving this,” said Dore.

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