Resources that provide assistance to communities to finance the development of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.

Primary Resources (see summaries below)

  • Affordable Housing Trust Fund
  • Capital Improvement and Preservation Fund
  • Chapter 40R (Smart Growth Zoning Act)
  • Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program
  • Community Preservation Act
  • HOME Investment Partnerships
  • Housing Stabilization Fund
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program
  • MassWorks Infrastructure Program
  • Neighborhood Housing Services Program
  • Tax Exempt Bonds
  • Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing Program

Secondary Resources (see summaries below)

  • Citizen Planner Training Collaborative
  • Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance Program
  • Relocation Assistance Program
  • Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit

 

Additional Assistance for Affordable Housing Developers

The organizations linked below provide affordable housing resources and programs directed to non-profit and for-profit affordable housing developers, as well as valuable affordable housing information, guides and other resources for cities and towns.

Please be aware that your Local Housing Authority can be an excellent source of information and resources regarding affordable housing development.

Please note that all units produced shall be marketed in a fair and open process consistent with state and federal fair housing laws.

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Primary Resources: Summaries

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Program : Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) 
Purpose:
To permit municipalities to establish trust funds for the creation and preservation of housing that is affordable to people with incomes that do not exceed 110% of the area median income, as defined by HUD 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • The minimum term of affordability is 30 years
  • All AHTF units in the project must be affordable to households at or below 110% of Area Median Income
  • DHCD evaluation for project financial feasibility
  • Funding preferences shall be given to those projects that are most likely to be able to commence development in a timely manner upon approval of funding
  • Affordable Housing Trust Fund applications are submitted to MassHousing

Funding and/or Eligible Uses: Administered jointly by DHCD and MassHousing

Funding:

  • Deferred payment loans
  • Low or no interest amortizing loans
  • Down-payment and closing cost assistance for first-time home buyers
  • Credit enhancements and mortgage insurance guarantees
  • Matching funds for municipalities that sponsor affordable housing projects
  • Matching funds for employer-based housing
  • Predevelopment funding from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) to non-profit organizations
  • Section 8 Project Based Vouchers (PBV)

Eligible Uses:

  • Activities that create, preserve, or acquire housing for the benefit of people with incomes that do not exceed 110% of the area median income, as defined by HUD
  • Permanent or transitional housing for homeless families and individuals, and
  • For the modernization, rehabilitation and repair of public housing

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Program : Capital Improvement and Preservation Fund 
Purpose:
To preserve and improve existing privately owned, state, or federally assisted affordable rental developments 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Local housing authorities
  • For-profit and non-profit developers

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • State bond funded
  • The acquisition, refinancing and/or rehabilitation of existing rental property
  • Eligible properties include housing at risk of losing affordability restrictions due to the potential for the prepayment of its mortgage or housing in which a project-based rental assistance contract has expired.

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Program : Chapter 40R 
Purpose:
To substantially increase the supply of housing and enable municipalities to create Smart Growth Zoning Overlay Districts for the production of compact/high density housing. It targets the shortfall in housing for low- and moderate-income households, by requiring the inclusion of affordable units. 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All MA cities and towns may apply.
  • Development must include housing:
    • In an area of concentrated development such as town centers, or
    • Near transit stations, or
    • Be in a highly suitable location
  • 20% of housing units must be affordable.
  • Municipality must adopt a 40R zoning district.
  • Minimum residential densities of 8 units/acre for single family; 12 units/acre for 2-3 family; and 20 units/acre for multi-family

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Incentive payments of up to $600,000 (plus a one time density bonus payment of $3000 for each unit) for construction of new housing, substantial rehabilitation of existing buildings, or conversion to residential use
  • 40R projects are eligible for payment under Chapter 40S which reimburses for some of the net increase in the cost of educating students living in new housing in smart growth districts. This funding is available starting in FY2008.

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Program: Commercial Area Transit Node Housing Program (CATNHP) 
Purpose:
To support first-time homebuyer housing through new construction or acquisition and rehabilitation of housing developments, of 24 units or less, within neighborhood commercial areas and in proximity to public transit nodes 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • All MA Cities and towns
  • Non-profit developers
  • For-profit developers
  • Housing development must be within neighborhood commercial areas and in proximity to public transit nodes.
  • Not less than 51% of the units assisted by the program must benefit persons earning not more than 80% of the area median income.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • A state funded bond program
  • The total amount of CATNHP funds requested per eligible project may not exceed $750,000 or $50,000 per unit.

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Program : Community Preservation Act (CPF)  (M.G.L. c.44B) 
Purpose:

  • To allow cities and towns to exercise control over local planning decisions
  • To allow cities and towns to create a CPF by assessing a surcharge on annual real estate taxes, which can be used to address three core community concerns:
    • Acquisition and preservation of open space
    • Creation and support of affordable housing
    • Acquisition and preservation of historic buildings and landscapes

Key Eligibility Criteria: Voters must approve establishment of a CPF by vote in an annual municipal or state election.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • A minimum of 10% of the annual revenues of the CPF must be used for each of the three core community concerns.
  • The remaining 70% can be allocated for any combination of the allowed uses, or for land for recreational use.

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Program : HOME Investment Partnerships  
Purpose:
To produce and preserve affordable housing for low and moderate-income families and individuals 

Key Eligibility Criteria:
Cities and towns in cooperation with any of the entities listed below:

  • For-profit developers
  • Non-profit developers
  • Non-profit organizations designated as Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs)

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Federal funds administered by DHCD. In general, DHCD HOME awards are structured as loans with 0% interest, and a 30-year deferred payment term.
  • Requires matching commitment of local funds
  • Acquisition and/or rehabilitation of existing structures for rental use
  • New construction of rental projects

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Program: Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) 
Purpose:
To assist in the production and preservation of affordable housing for low and moderate-income families and individuals 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Cities and towns in cooperation with developers
  • Local housing authorities
  • Non-profit developers
  • For-profit developers

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • HSF deferred-payment loan
  • Projects located in HOME entitlement or consortium communities must include a matching commitment of local funds
  • Acquisition and/or rehabilitation of existing structures for rental use, or for the new construction of rental projects

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Program: Massachusetts State Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
Purpose: To assist in the production and preservation of affordable rental housing for low-income families and individuals 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Any person or entity (of whatever type) with an ownership interest in a qualified Massachusetts project and who receives an allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits with respect to such project is eligible to receive an allocation of the Massachusetts Low-Income Housing Tax Credit with respect to such project..
  • Three types of Massachusetts projects are eligible:
    • Projects to which the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) has made a prior allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit,
    • Projects to which DHCD makes a simultaneous allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and
    • Projects with respect to which the federal low-income housing tax credit is allowable by reason of Section 42(h)(4) of the Code applicable to buildings financed with tax exempt bonds

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Tax credit
  • The acquisition and/or rehabilitation of existing structures for rental use, including distressed or failed properties, or
  • The new construction of rental projects
  • Projects seeking tax credits must have a minimum of 8 tax credit-assisted units
  • The minimum term of affordability is thirty years
  • All units receiving tax credit assistance must have:
    • 20% or more households earning no more than 50% of area median income, or
    • 40% or more households earning no more than 60% of the area median income.
    • In addition, 10% of the total units must be reserved for persons or families earning less than 30% of area median income.

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Program:  MassWorks Infrastructure Program  
Purpose:
To provide public infrastructure funding to support economic development. MassWorks consolidates these six grant programs into one office to streamline the grant process:

  • Community Development Action Grant (CDAG)
  • Growth District Initiative (GDI) Grants
  • Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion Program (MORE)
  • Public Works Economic Development (PWED) Grants
  • Small Town Rural Assistance Program (STRAP)
  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Grant Program

Key Eligibility Criteria

  • Please see the MassWorks Infrastructure webpage for further information.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Please see the MassWorks Infrastructure webpage for further information.

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Program: Neighborhood Housing Services Program (NHS) 
Purpose:
To assists residents and public/private entities to reinvest in urban neighborhoods in Boston , Cambridge, Chelsea, Quincy, and Springfield by rehabilitating housing and making it affordable for low and moderate-income families 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Rehabilitation of owner-occupied 1-4 family properties, condominium and planned unit developments allowed; investor owners with 51% or more HUD income eligible residents.
  • First Priority: Rehabilitation for existing homeowners.
  • Second Priority: Purchase/rehabilitation. (Proceeds can be used for down payment and rehabilitation - owner occupants only).

    Third Priority: Investor-owned properties. Declining scale pre- payment penalty clause to be included in loan approvals

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Private non-profit housing and community development organizations doc format of    nhslist.doc  currently offer NHS loans.
  • The minimum loan amount for rehabilitation is $3,000. The first priority shall be structural and/or mechanical systems repair and state health/safety and sanitary code violations.
  • Loan Terms: Up to 30-year fixed level payment. The interest rate may vary between 0-6%, as determined by local NHS agencies.
  • Selection Criteria:
  • Borrower Income: The borrower's income must be at or below 90% of HUD median income guideline for a family of four.

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Program: Tax Exempt Bonds 
Purpose:
To provide very low interest rate financing for capital projects 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Cities and towns
  • Non-Profits
  • Developers
  • Projects financed must be eligible for tax-exempt financing under the federal tax code

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Administered by MassDevelopment
  • Municipal and governmental projects
  • Waste recovery and recycling facilities
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit real estate and equipment
  • Manufacturing facilities and equipment
  • Affordable residential rental housing

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Program: Urban Center Housing - Tax Increment Financing (UCH-TIF) 
Purpose:
To promote multi-unit housing and commercial development, including affordable housing, in commercial centers through tax increment financing. Such development must be primarily residential 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • .All cities and towns having designated commercial centers with a need for multi-unit housing
  • Development must be primarily residential, and 25% of housing units produced must be affordable.
  • A participating city or town must adopt an Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing Plan ("UCH-TIF Plan") for a designated commercial area (the "UCH-TIF Zone").
  • The UCH-TIF Plan must include development plans for proposed public and private projects in the UCH-TIF Zone and executed agreement(s) with property owners undertaking new development who will be receiving tax increment exemptions ("UCH-TIF Agreements") on these projects.
  • Before submitting an application for approval of a UCH-TIF Zone and a UCH-TIF Plan to the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), a municipality must implement a local review and approval process.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • DHCD provides no direct funding.
  • Cities and towns may grant a real estate tax exemption up to 20 years on all or part of the increased value of improved real estate due to new construction or significant improvements.
  • Tax increment financing may be combined with grants and loans from local, state and federal development programs.
  • Multi-unit housing in designated commercial centers with 25% of units affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% of area median income
  • Primarily residential development

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Secondary Resources: Summaries

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Program : Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC) 
Purpose:
To provide technical assistance for planning and zoning to cities and towns 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • City or town officials, including Selectmen, Building Inspectors, and members of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal, etc.

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

Trainees pay nominal fees for annual workshops and conferences, including:

  • Comprehensive Permit - MGL 40B
  • How to Hold A Perfect Public Hearing
  • Introduction to the Subdivision Control Law and ANR
    • Roles and Responsibilities of Planning & Zoning Boards

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Program: Peer - to - Peer Technical Assistance Program 
Purpose:
To provide small grants to municipalities for short-term problem solving or technical assistance projects. Municipalities may apply for grants of up to $1,000 to employ appointed or elected municipal officials from other communities to provide technical assistance related to community development and/or capacity building at the local level.

Key Eligibility Criteria:

MA cities and towns with populations of under 50,000 that do not receive CDBG funds directly from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • CDBG Technical Assistance Funds provide for grants of up to $1,000.
  • Exclusively for technical assistance related to community development and/or capacity building related to community development at the local level
  • Grant funds may be used to pay for up to 30 hours ($900) of technical assistance and up to $100 for reimbursement of travel, photocopying and/or the cost of incidental materials.
  • A maximum of 10 eligible applications are funded yearly on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Program: Relocation Assistance Program 
Purpose:
To provide advice, assistance and approvals for and to public agencies that cause businesses and individuals to move as a result of real estate acquisitions (voluntary or involuntary) or takings

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Any residential or business occupant displaced by a public or private entity using public funds

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Fair and reasonable relocation payments to displaced persons and businesses must be made under MGL Chapter 79A by any agency or person that is acquiring real property or issuing an order to vacate real property for purposes of rehabilitation or other improvement or for demolition purposes.
  • Actions include:
    • Taking of real property by eminent domain
    • Negotiated sale
    • Rehabilitation or other improvement
  • Demolition

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Program: Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit 
Purpose:

  • To provide easy access to information on twelve different planning , zoning and subdivision techniques
  • To increase understanding of smart growth tools and how to customize the techniques to local circumstances

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • The Toolkit is designed to be both an educational guide and a reference document

Funding and/or Eligible Uses:

  • Provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

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Contact

DHCD Division of Community Services at 617-573-1400