Applications open for Sanderson Place, new affordable senior housing in Sunderland


Staff Writer

Published: 04-22-2022 5:48 PM

SUNDERLAND — More than 40 people at the South County Senior Center were treated to a presentation from the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority Friday morning as it kicked off the application process for Sanderson Place, the new affordable senior housing complex in Sunderland.

Applications for the complex are now available on the housing authority’s website and at the Sunderland Town Offices, the Sunderland Public Library, the South County Senior Center and at the housing authority’s office at 241 Millers Falls Road in Turners Falls. Applications are open to residents of any town, but 16 of the complex’s 33 units will give preference to current Sunderland residents, people who are employed in town or those who have children enrolled in Sunderland’s schools.

Eligible applicants will be entered into a lottery system, which will draw applications on July 20. Move-in dates will begin in September and continue through the winter.

“The notification list alone has been growing as the development itself has come out of the ground,” Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Gina Govoni said in a phone interview. “We’re excited to see how many people throw their hat into the ring for the lottery.”

Located at 120 North Main St., Sanderson Place contains 33 wheelchair-accessible apartments. The head of household must be at least 62 years or older and applicants must also meet income requirements to qualify, with the maximum limit set at 60% of the average median income for Franklin County, which equates to $45,180 for a two-person household. The average estimated rent is approximately $1,006 for a one-bedroom unit and $1,206 for a two-bedroom unit.

The building contains several community lounges, an outdoor deck, a fitness room and on-site laundry. LifePath’s Meals on Wheels program will be available to all residents of Sanderson Place as well.

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Construction on the complex began in March 2021 and is slated to end in August. The $13 million project was funded by Sunderland Community Preservation Act funds, financing from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and Greenfield Savings Bank, tax credits and state subsidies, according to the housing authority.

Applications must provide all income and asset documentation, including the last three years of completed tax returns. Applications must be postmarked by June 29 and can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, 241 Millers Falls Road, Turners Falls, MA 01376.

For those who have questions or need assistance in filling out the application, the housing authority is holding four additional information sessions over the coming months. On May 4 at 4 p.m. and June 6 at 10:30 a.m., information sessions will be held at the Sunderland Public Library. Two additional sessions will be held at the housing authority’s office on May 19 at 4 p.m. and on May 26 at 10 a.m.

To avoid possible issues with applications, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority Director of Property and Asset Management Pam Parmakian said people should get them in as soon as possible.

“It’s a process for applications and we get it,” Parmakian said during Friday’s presentation. “The sooner you get your application in, the sooner you’re deemed eligible or not.”

Govoni said Sanderson Place is the first affordable senior housing complex to be built in Franklin County in “many, many years” and is one step in addressing the growing need for housing in the region. She added this project has been a “partnership with the town of Sunderland.”

“I really want to emphasize that we still have a housing crisis … because of the changing needs and lifestyle of those who live here in Franklin County,” Govoni explained. “I would hope that other communities that are thinking about this would come and see Sanderson Place. It really is beautiful.”

For additional information, visit the Sanderson Place page on the housing authority’s website at or call the housing authority at 413-863-9781.