BOSTON – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Charlie Baker announced $72 million in housing subsidy funds and additional state and federal tax credits to 25 projects in 17 communities for the creation, rehabilitation, and preservation of 1,970 housing units across the Commonwealth, including 402 units reserved for very low-income families and families making the transition out of homelessness, building on the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to increasing the production and preservation of affordable housing for all residents.
“Safe and affordable housing is a cornerstone to the success of our Commonwealth’s families, including access to job opportunities for many of our most vulnerable populations,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through our combined efforts and investments to date, over 5,200 affordable housing units are being created, preserved or rehabilitated to support the growth of Massachusetts, our workforce, communities and families.”
The administration is awarding over $72 million in housing subsidy funds, including federal HOME funds and state capital funds. Additionally, the Department of Housing and Community Development is awarding more than $28 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits, which will generate more than $180 million in equity for these projects. The awards will create or preserve 1,978 rental units, including 1,698 affordable units, in 25 projects across the state. Three projects will reserve units for individuals with disabilities, two are transit-oriented developments and three projects will include Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) units, including a building dedicated to youth aging out of foster care.
“Massachusetts is strongest when all of our families and residents have access to opportunities to thrive,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s awards will support affordable housing options for families in communities across the Commonwealth’s, regardless of income or zip code, including projects with housing for low-income or formerly homeless families, individuals with disabilities, veterans and the elderly.”
Governor Baker joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay and MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan to make the funding announcement at Olmsted Green in Mattapan. Olmsted Green is a 38-acre, existing mixed-income housing community on the former site of the Boston State Hospital.
“Today was a big day for housing here in Boston and across the Commonwealth. Not only did we break ground on mixed-income housing units today, we were given the support to continue our work in creating affordable homes for those in this thriving city and create more construction jobs in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh. “I want to thank the Governor for making these funds available and for supporting important projects like Olmsted Green in Boston.”
Lena New Boston’s efforts are one piece of the larger redevelopment of the former Boston State Hospital into a mix of housing, community and green space. The site includes the Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which sits on 67 acres. While the site sat vacant after the hospital’s closure in 1979, the past decade has seen the complete transformation of the space, bringing significant affordable and mixed-income housing to the Mattapan neighborhood, with rental and home-ownership opportunities for residents.
The Lena Park Community Development Corporation and New Boston Fund, together known as Lena New Boston LLC, are currently completing a 41-unit affordable, home-ownership development, with previous support from MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative, a joint initiative with DHCD. Lena New Boston will also build an additional 100 units of mixed-income rental housing in the next phase of the development with support from today’s awards.
“Today’s announcement of significant investments in affordable housing represents a key part of the administration’s inclusive strategy to support families and residents, and meet the needs of every community in Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Creating and preserving housing for families across the income spectrum will allow us to build and retain a skilled workforce across the state, and give our residents access to more opportunities.”
“Our administration is committed to supporting projects that support our most vulnerable communities, from very low-income families, to seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay. “Affordable housing is a strong tool for community development, and our investments using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit reflect those priorities.”
The 2017 affordable rental housing award round reflects the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to substantially invest in housing across the Commonwealth. 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. In May 2016, the administration unveiled a five-year capital budget plan that includes a $1.1 billion commitment to increasing housing production, an 18% 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.
Since 2015 the Baker-Polito Administration has provided direct funding to create and preserve over 5,200 units of affordable housing across Massachusetts.
In addition, the administration and MassHousing have previously committed $100 million to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units. To date, the Workforce Housing Initiative has advanced the development of 1,317 housing units across a range of incomes, including 387 workforce housing units.
Mechanic Mill is a mixed-income historic rehabilitation project located in Attleboro. The project sponsor is WinnDevelopment. When completed, Mechanic Mill will offer 91 total units, with 56 affordable, including 10 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI). All 91 units will be reserved for persons who are at least 55 years old.
Burbank Gardens is a preservation project of an existing 52-unit development located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Fenway Community Development Corporation, with assistance from DHCD, MassHousing, and the City of Boston, will rehabilitate and preserve the existing property and restrict 39 of the 52 units for rental to low and moderate-income tenants.
Cote Village is a 76-unit new construction project in Dorchester sponsored by Caribbean Integration Community Development and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese of Boston. The City of Boston also will provide substantial support to the project. When completed, Cote Village will include 56 affordable units, including eight units reserved for formerly homeless individuals or families, and several units reserved for persons with disabilities.
General Heath Square Apartments is a 47-unit new construction project in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The sponsor is the non-profit Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. The city of Boston also will provide substantial support to the project. When completed, this transit-oriented project will include 40 affordable units, including 20 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Olmsted Green Mixed-Income is a 100‑unit mixed-income new construction project in Boston to be built on the site of the former Boston State Hospital. Previously, the state and the City of Boston have helped finance over 500 units on the former hospital site. Sponsored by the New Boston Fund, the completed project will offer 40 affordable rental units, including 16 units for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI and several units for persons with disabilities. Sixty units within the project will be made available as workforce and market-rate rental units. The City of Boston also will provide funding for this project.
Talbot Commons Phase 1 is a new construction/rehabilitation project located in Boston’s Codman Squareneighborhood. The sponsor is the non-profit Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. The City of Boston also will provide significant support to Talbot Commons. The completed project will offer 40 affordable family units, including nine units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
The Clarion is a new construction mixed-income family housing project to be built on Blue Hill Avenue in Boston. The sponsor is the non-profit The Community Builders (TCB). The City of Boston also will provide significant support to The Clarion. The site is located near major transit and retail opportunities and will offer 39 total units. Twenty seven units will be affordable, including seven units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI. Several affordable units also will be reserved for persons with disabilities.
Washington Westminster House in Boston is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Elizabeth Stone House. The 32-unit project will provide affordable housing as well as support services for at-risk and homeless families. All 32 units will be reserved for households with incomes below 30 percent of AMI. The City of Boston also will provide funds to Washington Westminster House.
Wilshire Westminster in Boston is a scattered-site preservation project sponsored by the non-profit Urban Edge to rehabilitate existing properties consisting of 99 total units for families. Eighty-nine of the rehabilitated units will be affordable, including 10 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
JAS Consolidation is a scattered-site preservation and production project located in Cambridge and sponsored by the non-profit Just-A-Start Inc. The 112-unit consolidation project includes multiple properties located between Kendall Square and East Cambridge. Several of the properties, including St. Patrick’s Church, were destroyed in a massive fire in December 2016. The fire-impacted properties will be demolished and replaced with new, affordable housing, including 12 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent AMI. Other properties included in the consolidation will be rehabilitated with support from DHCD and from the City of Cambridge.
MacArthur Terrace in Chicopee is a preservation project, an existing large-scale family development sponsored by Dimeo Properties. The City of Chicopee also will provide support to the project. When completed, MacArthur Terrace will offer 222 total units, with 182 affordable units, including 44 units for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Brownstone Gardens in East Longmeadow is a preservation project sponsored by Carr Property Management. Originally financed through MassHousing’s Chapter 13A program, the property will be rehabilitated with subsidy funds from DHCD and assistance from MassHousing. When completed, Brownstone Gardens will offer 132 total units, with 107 affordable units, including 33 units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Bostwick Gardens in Great Barrington is a new construction/rehabilitation project for seniors sponsored by Berkshire Housing Development Corporation. The completed project will offer 31 new affordable units for seniors as well as 29 rehabilitated units in an existing building. Eighteen of the total units will be reserved for individuals or couples earning less than 30 percent of AMI. The non-profit Berkshire Housing Development Corporation will make certain services for seniors available on-site and also will help senior residents access off-site services.
98 Essex in Haverhill is a new construction family housing project sponsored by Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative, Inc. The City of Haverhill also will provide funds to 98 Essex. When completed, the project will feature 62 total units, all of which are affordable, with seven units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
The Gerson Building in Haverhill is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Coalition for a Better Acre. The City of Haverhill also will provide funds to the Gerson Building. The completed project will offer 44 units for families as well as a preference for households that include veterans. All 44 units will be affordable, with eight units reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Holyoke Farms Apartments is a large-scale family preservation project located in Holyoke. The sponsor is Maloney Properties, Inc. The City of Holyoke also will provide funds in support of the rehabilitation. When completed, Holyoke Farms will offer 229 family housing units, with 191 affordable units, including eight units reserved for households earning below 30 percent of AMI and 12 new construction units.
Carter School in Leominster is a historic rehabilitation project sponsored by the non-profit NewVue Communities. The sponsor will rehabilitate a vacant and fire-damaged school building into 39 family housing units. All units will be affordable, including 16 units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI. The City of Leominster also will provide funds to the project.
Willis Street Apartments in New Bedford is a new construction project sponsored by the non-profit Women’s Development Corporation. The project will consist of 30 affordable single-room occupancy (SRO) units, and the sponsor will offer a veteran’s preference for each unit. All units will be affordable, including 23 units reserved for individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Transitional and Supportive Housing is a scattered-site project located in North Adams and Adams and sponsored by the non-profit Louison House. The sponsor currently operates the only comprehensive shelter program for homeless families in northern Berkshire County. The Transitional and Supportive Housing project will consist of the rehabilitation of 22 family shelter units destroyed by fire as well as the construction of five new permanent housing units for homeless families. All units will be affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI, and the sponsor will provide extensive services to resident families.
King Pine is a large-scale family preservation project located in Orange. The sponsor is The Schochet Companies. The sponsor will rehabilitate this project and extend restrictions on rental rates well into the future. The completed project will offer 234 affordable units, including 24 units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Cape Cod Village is a new construction project in Orleans. The sponsor is the non-profit Cape Cod Village, Inc. When completed, the project will offer 15 affordable housing units and services to persons with disabilities, including autism. DHCD will support Cape Cod Village with subsidy funds, and seven communities on Cape Cod have committed Community Preservation Act or other local funds to the project.
Harbor and Lafayette Homes is a preservation project consisting of two properties, which are single-room occupancy (SRO) buildings, located in Salem. The project sponsor is the non-profit North Shore Community Development Coalition. The City of Salem also will provide funds to the project. When rehabilitation work has been completed, Harbor and Lafayette Homes will offer 27 SRO units. Twenty-six units will be affordable, including seven units reserved for individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI. The property located at Harbor Street will provide housing and services to youth aging out of foster care.
The Residences at Salisbury Square is a new construction and adaptive re-use project in Salisbury. The sponsor is the non-profit YWCA of Greater Newburyport in partnership with L. D. Russo. When completed, the project will offer 42 total units, all of which will be affordable, with 16 units further restricted for rental to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Chestnut Crossing is a 104-unit preservation project located in downtown Springfield. Formerly owned by the YMCA of Springfield, the project now is owned by the non-profit Home City Housing. Home City Housing will rehabilitate the project as single-room occupancy (SRO) units with kitchenettes and baths. The City of Springfield also will provide funds in support of Chestnut Crossing. Seventy-nine of the completed SROs will be affordable, including 26 SROs affordable to individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
Moseley Apartments in Westfield involves the historic rehabilitation of a vacant school building into affordable housing for families. The sponsor is the non-profit Domus; Moseley Apartments will be the sponsor’s second school re-use project in Westfield. When completed, Moseley Apartments will offer 23 affordable units, including six units affordable to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI.
William Pitman, Governor’s Office
william.pitman (at) state.ma (dot) us
Michelle Hillman, Housing and Economic Development
michelle.m.hillman (at) state.ma (dot) us