Baker-Polito Administration Awards $42 Million to Preserve Over 550 Affordable Housing Units

Awards will allow communities to retain affordable housing options for residents and families

Worcester – June 30, 2017 –- (RealEstateRama) — The Baker-Polito Administration announced awards to preserve three affordable housing developments in Worcester and Franklin. The $42 million in tax credit equity and subsidy from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will fund the purchase and rehabilitation of the three developments and will maintain affordability of nearly all 559 housing units. These awards are part of the administration’s strategy to ensure the continuation of existing affordable housing across the Commonwealth.

“Affordable, workforce housing is important to Massachusetts’ ability to keep and attract a talented workforce and the employers creating jobs for them,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration has made a significant commitments to preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities for families, residents and communities across the Commonwealth.”

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay, Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, CEDAC Executive Director Roger Herzog, and MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan to announce the awards at Worcester City Hall today.

“We are committed to providing families throughout Massachusetts access to safe and quality housing opportunities they can afford and are aggressively pursuing a comprehensive strategy to meet those growing needs,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The preservation of affordable housing is a crucial step and we look forward to continuing a strong working relationship with Massachusetts’ public housing authorities, non-profit and for-profit developers, Community Development Corporations, quasi-public housing agencies and communities to keep up the momentum of providing housing residents across the income spectrum can afford.”

These three developments, Fruit Sever Apartments and Stratton Hill Park in Worcester and Glen Meadow Apartments in Franklin, will be rehabilitated and preserved in partnership with non-profit and for-profit developers. Additional financing for these projects will be provided by MassHousing and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC).

“The same reasons that make Massachusetts an incredible place to live, also makes housing unaffordable for many of our working families and residents,” said Undersecretary Kornegay. “Not only will these awards ensure we maintain the long-term affordability of these units, but will upgrade and revitalize these developments for the benefit of residents and the surrounding community.”

“As the revitalization of Worcester continues, we want to make sure that all the residents of the City reap the benefits,” said Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus. “Preserving and renovating affordable housing units is a key piece to our economic development strategy and we are excited about the investment from the city, state and private sector to both the Fruit Sever Apartments and Stratton Hill Park.”

“Congratulations to Fruit Sever Apartments and Stratton Hill Park in Worcester, and Glen Meadow Apartments Franklin on receiving the preservation awards from the Baker-Polito Administration,” said MA Senate Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester).  “I look forward to these efforts to preserving affordable housing projects in communities across Massachusetts, especially in Worcester.”

“Affordable housing is key for diverse, livable and thriving communities,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “This award will bring more high-quality, affordable housing options to Franklin families, and I look forward to continuing to work together with town and state partners to expand access to housing, especially in higher cost markets.”

“This investment demonstrates our strong commitment to preserving affordable housing units in Worcester and recognizing their importance and value across the Commonwealth,” said Representative John Mahoney (D-Worcester). “I’m proud and thankful to the city and state for their long-term commitment to these positive developments. Worcester continues to be an attractive place for someone to raise their family, and I am looking forward to the bright future we have ahead of us.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration is effectively using policy tools such as Chapter 40T to preserve existing affordable housing in Worcester and across the state,” said Roger Herzog, Executive Director for the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC).  “CEDAC is pleased to work collaboratively with its non-profit partner The Community Builders and DHCD by providing acquisition financing that supports the affordability of Fruit Sever Apartments.”

“MassHousing works creatively and collaboratively, to preserve and modernize affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households across the Commonwealth,” said MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan. “We are proud to partner with DHCD, Beacon Communities and the Schochet Companies, to ensure that working families in Worcester and Franklin continue to have access to housing they can afford.”

In April, Governor Baker filed a housing bond bill seeking $1.287 billion in additional capital authorization to advance the administration’s commitment to affordable housing. Last May, the administration unveiled a five-year capital budget plan that includes a $1.1 billion commitment to increasing housing production, an 18 percent funding increase over previous funding levels. The $1.1 billion capital commitment provides for significant expansions in state support for mixed-income housing production, public housing modernization, and affordable housing preservation. The housing bond bill filed today provides the authorization to fully fund this capital expansion.

In addition, the administration and MassHousing have committed a separate $100 million to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units.

Since 2015 the Baker-Polito Administration has provided direct funding to create and preserve over 3,500 units of affordable housing across Massachusetts.

Award Recipients:

Fruit Sever Apartments, Worcester – Fruit Sever is an existing 132-unit family affordable housing project located several blocks from Worcester City Hall. DHCD will support The Community Builders’ (TCB) purchase and rehabilitation of Fruit Sever with federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits and subsidy funds. TCB has agreed to maintain affordability for 90 percent of the units at the property for at least 30 years. The City of Worcester also will provide funds to preserve this important affordable housing resource.

Stratton Hill Park, Worcester – Stratton Hill Park is an existing affordable housing project for families located in Worcester. DHCD now will support The Beacon Communities’ purchase and rehabilitation of the project with federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credit and subsidy funds. MassHousing and the city of Worcester also will provide funding to support this important preservation transaction.  When completed, Stratton Hill Park will offer 112 affordable rental units as well as 28 market rental units.  Sixty-two of the 112 affordable units will be reserved for households earning less than 60 percent of area median income (AMI), with 50 workforce housing units reserved for households earning less than 80 percent of AMI. MassHousing is financing the creation of the 50 new affordable workforce units with $2.5 million from the agency’s Opportunity Fund, and is providing a $10.3 million equity bridge loan, and a $9.89 million construction/permanent tax-exempt first mortgage.

Glen Meadow Apartments Franklin – Glen Meadow is an existing 287-unit affordable housing project. DHCD is supporting the Schochet Companies’ purchase of Glen Meadow. The Schochet Companies will rehabilitate this family housing project and restrict rents on 283 units so that households with a range of incomes below 110 percent of AMI can afford to live at Glen Meadow. MassHousing is providing $1.75 million in Opportunity Fund financing, for the creation of 43 affordable workforce units.

Media Contact

Michelle Hillman (HED) – michelle.m.hillman (at) state.ma (dot) us

Samantha Kaufman (HED) – samantha.kaufman (at) state.ma (dot) us

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