For Immediate Release - April 17, 2008

Governor Patrick Announces Nearly $1 Million to Revitalize Worcester Communities

Affordable housing funds awarded as Patrick-Murray Administration focuses on economic agenda

BOSTON - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - Joined by community and business leaders, Governor Deval Patrick today announced a $979,000 housing package that will help revitalize Worcester communities and put affordable housing within reach for more residents.

One week after delivering a major speech outlining his economic development agenda, Governor Patrick met with local community, education and business leaders to announce the Administration's commitment to creating more housing opportunities for Worcester residents.

"We must invest in communities across the Commonwealth to position ourselves for growth and economic security over the long run and prime the economic pump now," said Governor Patrick. "That's how we create opportunities for individuals, families and companies to prosper."

Included in the awards is a $760,000 grant to the Worcester East Side Community Development Corporation for the Bell Hill IV homeownership project. These funds, from the state Housing Stabilization Fund, will help build four additional homeownership properties in Bell Hill. In the Bell Hill region, single and two-family homes under $260,000 continue to be marketable and affordable for those seeking ownership.

Also included is an $115,597 award to Main South Community Development Corporation's Kilby Townhomes. The 10-unit attached townhouse project came on the market late in 2007, as Worcester began feeling the impact of the subprime mortgage fallout. Since then, potential homeowners have been unable to afford the units, which were originally priced at $152,000 each. The funds awarded today will allow Main South to immediately begin selling the units at $130,000 each.

Main South will also receive a $103,788 award to provide funds to convert the completed Benefit Street project to affordable rental housing. The four units are currently on the market as condominiums sold for ownership, but have been out of reach for those seeking rentals. The money will assist in converting them to rental properties, a strong market in Worcester.

"A home is more than simply shelter," said Governor Patrick. "It is an opportunity for individuals and families to put down roots, be part of a neighborhood, and have a stake in the community. Through our partnership with local community and business leaders, as well as with elected officials, more residents can revitalize their lives and their communities."

Today's grant announcement comes on the heels of a separate initiative outlined earlier this month that allocated more than $200,000 for foreclosure education centers, statewide foreclosure prevention efforts and first-time homebuyer programs in Worcester.