FALMOUTH — Over the next two years, the Falmouth Housing Corporation hopes to add 20 single-bedroom units of workforce housing on Gifford Street, all rented at affordable rates.

Small, affordable units for local workers have been a consistent need in town, and Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Susan Moran called the proposal “a great move forward for Falmouth.”

The project will be built in two phases on property the corporation owns at 587 Gifford St., according to Housing Corporation president and director Linda Clark.

Monthly rents will range from $808 to $1,150, depending on an applicant’s income. All utilities are included in the rent.

The target site for the 20 rental units is currently a garden adjacent to the Falmouth Service Center. “They agree the better use is housing,” Clark told selectmen at a recent meeting. The garden will be relocated.

The housing corporation already has 36 affordable units on the property.

An application to the state Department of Housing and Community Development seeks funding for Phase 1, which calls for 10 units in two buildings and is estimated to cost $2.5 million. The selectmen and Community Preservation Committee agreed to pitch in $650,000 from the town’s affordable housing fund last week. The board acts as the fund’s trustees.

The application to the state requests $1.3 million from the Community Scale Housing Initiative. The Falmouth Housing Corporation will take out a mortgage for $480,000 and plans to fundraise the remaining $100,000, according to Clark.

The cost of Phase 1 was driven up by the need to install all necessary infrastructure for the whole project, including a septic system. Phase 2 is expected to cost less.

“We’ll apply for funding of Phase 2 early in 2019,” Clark said. Both phases should be complete about a year and a half from now.

Deadlines on the project have been tight. The state gave preapplication approval for funding in March.

Since then, the corporation, with a bit of help from Falmouth Housing Coordinator Carla Feroni and several boards and officials, has been looking at funding sources, lining up firms for design and construction and generally fleshing out the plan.

“We thought priorities were rental units and this project really spoke to those priorities,” Feroni said during a meeting with selectmen last week.

Wednesday marked the deadline for submitting the full application for the project to the state.

“It’s done,” Clark said Wednesday morning. “Everything has been turned in.”

The packet included endorsements from several groups in town, including the Board of Selectmen, Community Preservation Committee, Falmouth Affordable Housing Committee and Falmouth Service Center.

“They were awarded potential funding if this could turn around quickly,” Moran said. “It’s a great coup to put the project together and work with the town to make it all happen.”

Holly Wilson, chairwoman of the Affordable Housing Committee, agreed. "Between the Corp., town staff and all the committees who had to pull it together, it was a whirlwind."

"We are in dire need and I'm very grateful and look forward to having the new units next year," Wilson said. "What's great about the Corp. is they make sure the people that live in their buildings have good quality of life. The town is very lucky to have them."

The Department of Housing and Community Development will decide on the town’s application in July or August. “If we get it, we’ll be breaking ground in November,” Clark said. “In May or June next year, we’ll have 10 units.”

The 36 existing units on the Gifford Street property were built under the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law and are owned by the Falmouth Housing Corporation.

“We plan to subdivide the land and make this a separate 40B,” Clark said Wednesday.

In all, the housing corporation owns 187 affordable rental units in town, she said.

— Follow Christine Legere on Twitter: @ChrisLegereCCT.