KINGSTON — Kingston developer and business owner Mary O’Donnell wants to write her own “affordable” housing guidelines for a new development she plans to permit on her Marion Drive property.
She proposes building 250 apartments, including 50 affordable units, with as many as possible going to Kingston residents.
O’Donnell said she doesn’t care if the apartments or condominiums are categorized as affordable under federal or state guidelines. She wants them to be truly affordable, and she wants the residents who live in them to be from Kingston.
“We want to take care of our own,” she said. “I believe there are many Kingston people who need a little help to stay in the homes they are already in, and under current programs there is no vehicle for this. I would really like to hear from anyone in town that would like to buy or stay in their home.”
O’Donnell dismisses federal guidelines on affordable housing because they don’t sound affordable or reasonable to her. Many deserving people don’t qualify, she said, because of all the bureaucracy. With some outside-the-box thinking, she said, she can offer housing to those deserving people by establishing a sort of housing authority of her own. She plans to write guidelines attached to the sale of the apartments to accomplish this goal.
But first she wants to know what Kingston residents have to say before proceeding with her plan.
“I want to see what the need is in town,” she said.
She encourages residents to contact her by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 617-688-6088.
O’Donnell’s property on Marion Drive was proposed as the site of a development called 1021 Kingston’s Place, but those plans fell through when the developer, Thorndike Development, pulled out of a deal to build the development.
With the town contemplating sewer expansion, O’Donnell is planning to connect to the town sewer to help bring the project to fruition.
In the meantime, O’Donnell’s plans for three wind turbines at 48 Marion Drive, next to where her development would go, are going forward. She plans to hold a special commissioning ceremony at the property at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29. By that time the wind turbines will be operational.
In August, the state announced that O’Connell’s company, No Fossil Fuel LLC, was being awarded $1,337,169 in federal financing for three, 2-megawatt wind turbines. O’Donnell has a power purchase agreement with the town for the output from the wind turbines.