Valley Community Development proposes to build an affordable homeownership development which will create an estimated 30 homes on an 8.33-acre property in North Amherst. The development will be duplex condominiums clustered around shared open spaces, and shared parking arrangements will minimize vehicular traffic and emphasize pedestrian connections.

All of the homes will be deed restricted to Low-to-Moderate Income first-time homebuyer households, with a preference for first-time homebuyers that meet the CommonWealth Builders (CWB) program purchaser requirements, which is the anticipated primary subsidy source for the development.

Valley acquired the site in August 2022 and is currently in the design phase. Valley presented the first schematic site and building plans at the District One Neighborhood Association BBQ in September 2022 with our design team, Peter Flinker from Dodson & Flinker Associates, and Tom Chalmers from Austin Design Cooperative, Inc. A second neighborhood community meeting was held on the property in April 2023 to review the site redevelopment and building plans to date. Valley intends to file a Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permit request with the Amherst Zoning Board of Appeals this year.

A request for $750,000 of Community Preservation Act funds was approved in February 2023 by the Amherst Town Council. These funds demonstrate local support for the proposed project and provide a significant local contribution to the development budget.

For more information on the development design and homebuyer eligibility requirements, please download the FAQ sheet.

Affordable Homeownership Development FAQ - North Amherst

Site Location

The Ball Lane Community Homes site is located within the North Amherst Qualified Census Tract at the intersection of Montague Road (Route 63) and Pulpit Hill Road.  The site is located within ½ mile of the North Amherst Center and 1.2-miles from UMass-Amherst campus. The site is adjacent to two PVTA bus stops.

Design Concept

The proposed housing development includes an estimated 15 duplex condominiums clustered around shared open spaces, providing “pocket neighborhoods” within the site. The homes will be concentrated in previously developed areas, preserving the open space along Montague Road (Route 63) and Pulpit Hill Road. Homes will have a compact building footprint and integrate outdoor living spaces through building and site design. The homes will be passive solar and built to use the sun’s energy directly for either heating or cooling purposes. We anticipate the dwellings will be fossil-fuel-free, with the goal to add solar photovoltaics to reduce each home’s electricity cost and carbon footprint.   

Duplexes will combine 1-story, 1.5-story, and 2-story homes for variation in building rooflines and configurations. Homes will range from 960 to 1,310 GSF depending on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Homes will be designed as either 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom, with indoor and outdoor storage areas.  

This development will provide much needed affordable first-time homebuyer opportunities in the Town of Amherst. Like many communities across the state, the housing market in Amherst is experiencing high demand with limited affordable homes for sale. The project will address this demand by providing affordable homeownership opportunities to income-eligible buyers that meet the program requirements and goals of the CommonWealth Builders program.  

Below is a potential draft of the site plan.




  • Property purchased (August)
  • Site and building design
  • Community engagement
  • CPA application (September)


  • Permitting
  • Community engagement
  • Additional local funding requests
  • Public subsidy requests


  • Finance closing
  • Construction start


  • Construction completion
  • Home sales to qualified buyers

Ball Lane Community Homes presentation

Ball Lane Community Homes FAQ


Contact Jessica Allan, Real Estate Project Manager
Phone: 413-586-5855 Ext. 210

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