AMHERST — More than 500 people are interested in becoming the first tenants at East Gables, a housing project with 28 efficiency apartments for low- and moderate-income individuals scheduled to open in the early fall at 132 Northampton Road.
More than three months before the Valley Community Development project is ready for occupancy, the demand for affordable housing was seen when the Northampton nonprofit agency held a lottery for the apartments on June 1. That lottery received 501 applications.
“It’s very sobering, honestly, to have that many applicants,” Laura Baker, Valley’s real estate development director, told the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust at its meeting last Thursday.
Almost 400 of those who put their names into the lottery qualify as earning at or below 30% area median income, or $19,800, while 280 of the applications came from people who are unhoused, Baker said.
Baker told the committee that the lottery illustrates the need for more affordable housing.