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Groundbreaking Ceremony for LeClair Village Apartments Pays Tribute to Longtime Cape Cod Housing Advocate and Volunteer

May 31, 2023


State and local officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony this morning at LeClair Village Apartments, a new three-building complex in Mashpee featuring 39 affordable rental units.

The property is named after Mary LeClair, a long-time champion of housing issues on Cape Cod and a former board member at Housing Assistance.

“I’m speechless to think that kids will go to school and say they’re from LeClair Village,” said LeClair, who lives in Mashpee and continues to advocate for housing and other causes at the age of 89.

LeClair Village Apartments is under development through a partnership between Housing Assistance Corporation and Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. (POAH). When completed by the summer of 2024, LeClair Village will feature 14 one-bedroom apartments, 21 two-bedroom units, and 4 three-bedroom apartments.
Michael Jackman, district director for U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, presented LeClair with a citation during the ceremony.

Rep. Keating’s duties in Washington, D.C., kept him from attending the ceremony, but he expressed his admiration for LeClair in a statement. “By naming this new development in honor of Mary LeClair, we are recognizing the many contributions she has made to the Cape Cod community.” he said. “Her work as an elected official and a volunteer has made a difference, just as LeClair Village Apartments will make a difference in the lives of the dozens of families who will live there.”

The apartments, which are on town-owned land, will serve low- and moderate-income households.

“This development will represent an 11% increase in the town’s affordable housing stock – a significant boost in a high-cost market where many seasonal employees and others struggle to find stable housing that they can afford,” said POAH President and CEO Aaron Gornstein.

LeClair Village is designed to be certified passive house under the strict Passive House Institute of the US (PHIUS) standard. The enclosure (slab, walls, windows and roof) is designed and built to be air-tight and super thermal performing. With the air-tight enclosure and mechanized ventilation, the building and apartments will provide excellent air quality and comfort to residents. It will also include a roof-top solar array and a battery for emergency back-up.

“LeClair Village will change the lives and futures of the families lucky enough to live there,” said Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta. “Today is cause for celebration, as we recognize the decades of service Mary LeClair has done on behalf of the people of Cape Cod, but it is also a reminder that much work remains to be done to achieve her goal and ours of every family and individual on Cape Cod having a safe and stable place to live.”

Also speaking at the event were State Rep. Kip Diggs; State Rep. Steven Xiarhos; Thomas O’Hara, Mashpee Select Board Vice Chairman and member of the Affordable Housing Trust; Yongmei Chen, Senior Vice President, Eastern Bank; and Rev. Thomas Wyndham, a longtime friend of Mary Leclair.

POAH is partnering with the Housing Assistance Corporation, a frequent project collaborator, with POAH serving as lead developer. The project’s design and construction team is DREAM Collaborative Architects, Horsley Witten Engineering and Delphi Construction.

Project partners include Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Barnstable County HOME Consortium, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), Eastern Bank and Mashpee Affordable Housing Trust.

LeClair Village is the latest collaboration between POAH and Housing Assistance on Cape Cod. In the fall of 2018, the two nonprofits finished High Meadow Townhomes, the third and final phase of a project that brought a total of 117 mixed-income apartments to Bourne. The two nonprofits also recently celebrated the opening of the 30-unit Brewster Woods development in Brewster. In total, Housing Assistance and POAH have partnered on nine housing projects over the last 15 years, building a total of 214 units to-date with 126 units in the pipeline, including a 45-unit project proposed for Millstone Road in Brewster.