Dorothy Road ADU

Arlington’s First All-Electric, 100% Solar Powered Affordable Home!

HCA is developing a modular, all-electric, Passive House-certified affordable accessory dwelling unit (ADU).

Front view of 2-story white and black square home with large windows

Project Updates

July 2024: Stay tuned! We expect to hold a ribbon cutting in July and will advertise the date widely once it is set.

May – June 2024: “Buttoning Up” Reframe Systems and their construction team are completing the unit on site.

4-25-24: Module Delivery Day! Reframe Systems delivered and placed the two modules on the site, with the help of a very large crane.


Late March/Early April: Trenching and other work are underway to establish water and electrical connections for the new unit. The ground level structural system is being finalized to get ready for the modular unit to be placed there.

2-family home with dirt in rear and safety tape around area of dirt and trenching     view of rear of 2-family home, with pavers surrounding a rectangular area of gravel and metal supports

3-8-24: Demolition day! The garage behind HCA’s two-family on Dorothy Road has been demolished to make way for the new affordable home.

View of debris on ground where garage once stood

3-6-24: Field Trip! HCA staff, board, and real estate committee members visited Reframe Systems’ factory in Andover to see our unit being built.

7 people in hard hats stand in front of wooden framed structure    Wood framed box like structure on factory floow

News Media About the Dorothy Road ADU

2-22-24 Boston Globe: The housing market is a nightmare. An Andover startup wants to use robots to fix it.

Project Summary

HCA is placing an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on one of our properties, under the Town’s ADU ordinance. This 900-square foot, 2-bedroom modular rental home will be built in a micro factory in Andover and will be installed behind our existing 2-family home on Dorothy Road. It will face a wooded site with a conservation easement, providing lovely views from the home’s windows.

At first, it may seem like developing just one unit of affordable housing is a fraction of a drop in the ocean compared to what’s needed in this housing crisis.

But this home could serve as a model for future development! The company building the home, Reframe Systems, is working to develop a lower cost way to create high quality, highly energy efficient modular homes. They also want to support the development of affordable units. Learn more about how Reframe is creating their units in this Feb 2024 Boston Globe article.

This product may help us create housing at a lower cost than traditional construction, while still creating beautiful, sustainable, affordable homes for Arlington families.

The unit was approved for zoning from the Arlington Zoning Board of Appeals in December 2023. The ADU will be placed where there is now a degrading, unused garage. The home is expected to be completed by mid-May 2024.


Arlington Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Future Bank Loan

Tenant Selection

The tenant for this unit will be selected using a lottery system. The lottery application is expected to become public in summer 2024, after a required approval from the state. If you would like to get on the list to receive an application, please email