The Affordable Housing Trust voted to allocate $50,000 to the senior housing project on Walnut Street at their meeting last Thursday.

The $50,000 will serve as seed money, and allow crews to start preliminary work on the development.

Back in October, there as some confusion as to whether the trust needed the town’s permission to allocate the money.

While the issue does not have to be voted on at the town meeting, it will require the board of selectmen’s approval.

Selectman James DeVellis has previously proclaimed he would be “absolutely against” the project unless it included plans for a traffic signal at the intersection of Walnut Street and Route 140.

Consequently, the trust has decided to include the traffic signal in their proposal, shifting the estimated cost of $1 million to the developer.

However, the trust also pondered whether the traffic signal burden could be tacked on to the recently proposed fire substation project instead, to be located on Route 140 as well.

Planning director Paige Duncan said there is a significant need for elderly housing in Foxboro.

“I met a woman at the senior center who had tears in her eyes. She said, ‘If my rent goes up one more time, I don’t know what I’m doing to do,’” Duncan said.

The building would include 90 bedrooms for seniors, of which Foxboro residents and veterans would have first dibs on the apartments.

A waiting list

Currently, there are about 130 seniors on the waiting list.

Municipal Affordable Housing Trust funds can provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.

The trusts, allowed under state law, are a tool communities have used to meet the housing needs of the community in ways that don’t burden the town.

Funding can be generated in a variety of ways, including grants, municipal funds, payments in-lieu of the development of housing and real estate development fees with related interest.

Alexandra Gomes can be reached at 508-236-0398.

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