FARMINGTON — A public hearing drew large support for the town’s prospective participation in overseeing the administration of a grant to upgrade several affordable-housing units on High Street.

The hearing was held Tuesday night during the Board of Selectmen’s meeting. A representative from Creative Energy, the company that manages the housing complex at 82 High St., was in attendance along with members of the complex’s board of directors and several tenants of the buildings that are slated to be upgraded.

The board of directors is applying for a $500,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to finish phase three of development of the complex. The grant will cost the town of Farmington nothing, but the town’s participation in overseeing the proper use of the grant is subject to voters’ approval March 28 at Town Meeting.

“Hopefully the voters will support this project, because it’s a very worthy one,” Town Manager Richard Davis said.

The total cost of phase three is projected to be $1.5 million, according to Rachel Jackson Hudson, who manages the complex. The project recently received a $500,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank and a $540,000 loan through Franklin Savings Bank.

The complex has three buildings, each containing four apartments. The phase three plan is to replace the existing buildings with modular ones, still with four units in each.

Eighty-two High St. is a nonprofit housing complex aimed at providing affordable housing for people with low incomes. The complex also includes mobile homes. Phases one and two of the upgrade were completed last year and included fixing up the mobile homes and upgrading the water and sewer lines.

Those in attendance at the hearing praised Jackson Hudson for her management of the complex, which has been at maximum capacity since 2011, when she took over her position.

Janice David, a Farmington resident whose property abuts 82 High St. and is a member of its board of directors, said she has seen an improvement in the complex over the last decade.

“There’s been such a fantastic change in how it operates,” David said. “Our books are good and people are paying their rent and things look better.”

The purpose of 82 High St. is to provide affordable housing, so the modular units will not be anything fancy, Jackson Hudson said, but will be an improvement to the outdated, “tired” buildings.

“When I show the places, I got to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed. … With that said, people take them and are grateful for it because they are affordable,” Jackson Hudson said. “(The new buildings) are going to be decent, nice, but not extravagant.”

Applications for the grant are due in May. The plans for the project will be brought before the Planning Board on March 14. Residents will vote on the warrant article on March 28. Jackson Hudson said she is hopeful that the board will know by July whether it will receive the grant so the project can be completed by late fall.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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