Four-unit housing project one step closer to construction

Nov 15, 2023

The Wareham Conservation Commission approved a construction proposal from the Wareham Housing Authority at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The project will create two duplex structures for a total of four units, each of them one-bedroom units, on the Housing Authority’s property at Sandwich Avenue. 

Jacqueline Hickey, executive director of the Housing Authority, said the apartments will be affordable housing for elderly people.

“It’s not what HUD [the federal Housing and Urban Development agency] calls ‘affordable,’ it will actually be affordable for our seniors,” Hickey said.

Robert Powilatis, chair of the Housing Authority’s board, said the Authority has 40 units at Sandwich Road and 64 on Church Street, and it administers another 80 units of state subsidized housing throughout Wareham. It has a waiting list of approximately 400 Wareham residents, Powilatis added. 

Conservation Committee Chair Sandra Slavin said the project was “a long time coming.” It had received funds from the Community Preservation Committee years ago, and had not yet been built.

Due to the location of the duplexes, 50 percent will exist within a flood zone.

A consultant representing the project said the project team will elevate the buildings and their utilities above the flood zone per FEMA regulations.

Powilatis said the project’s final hurdle to clear involves sewer connections. 

Speaking as one of the Sewer Commissioners, Slavin said she did not recall the project getting approval for new sewage flow.

The project team had conversations with Guy Campinha, former director of the Water Pollution Control Facility, but those conversations never made it to writing, said the consultant.

Even with other aspects approved, the town’s moratorium on new sewer connections will put it on hold, he said.