2023 Residential Development that Best Exemplifies Major Community Impact
The Dracut Centre School
Developer: Coalition for a Better Acre
Location: Dracut, MA
Developer Coalition for a Better Acre transformed a historic school building in Dracut, Massachusetts, into a veteran-preference workforce housing development. The Dracut Centre School–built in 1898 and closed in the 1980s due to declining enrollment and budget issues–was used as a town hall annex until 2017, when it was declared surplus property. Thanks to funding that included $660,000 in state HTC equity from Dorfman Capital, Coalition for a Better Acre built nine units of veteran-preference workforce housing for tenants who may be housing insecure, but earn more than 80% of the area median income, the federal low-income housing tax credit limit. The property includes a bike rack, drought-tolerant landscaping, high-efficiency water heaters and Energy Star-labeled appliances. Developers used recycled materials throughout construction. The city of Dracut uses this development as an example of successful preservation and adaptive reuse.