For Immediate Release - November 01, 2013

Patrick Administration Announces New Initiative to Modernize and Preserve State-Aided Public Housing

Will award up to 5 million in current competitive cycle for housing authority improvements

BOSTON – November 1, 2013 – In continuation of the Patrick Administration’s efforts to preserve the Commonwealth’s public housing authority portfolio and increase the number of affordable public housing units available, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today announced a new initiative, the High Leverage Asset Preservation Program (HILAPP), aimed at supporting the comprehensive modernization and preservation of the state’s public housing stock. The Program will support these efforts by providing grants to local housing authorities that are able to secure matching funds from local and or other non-DHCD sources.

“Affordable public housing is in high demand across the state,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein. “These funds will not only ensure that current residents live in healthy and safe environments, but that the developments are upgraded so they will last for years to come.”

The HILAPP program was created to supplement the state’s Formula Funding and is based on the following four principles:

  • Preserving as many units as possible;
  • Prioritizing developments with significant capital needs that cannot be sufficiently addressed with Formula Funding;
  • Targeting developments in communities with the highest need for extremely low income housing; and
  • Leveraging as much capital as possible from sources other than DHCD.

Today, DHCD awarded 10 housing authorities across the Commonwealth over $500,000 to begin the design phases of their projects. By the conclusion of this first competitive cycle, DHCD will invest up to $5 million in capital dollars to support these local housing authorities.

Between FY14 and FY18, DHCD intends to distribute $75M for HILAPP projects, which will in turn leverage millions of dollars from outside sources.  DHCD will repeat the competitive award process annually, funding permitting, in order to build and maintain a consistent pipeline of HILAPP projects.

The housing authorities that received pre-development awards today are Amherst, Braintree, Chicopee, Franklin County, Lexington, Malden, Middleborough, Provincetown, and Sandwich.

Since 2008, the Patrick Administration has taken action to protect and strengthen the safety net that state-aided public housing’s 45,600 units provides for our state’s most vulnerable families, senior and people with disabilities. These initiatives are a part of a broader strategy being implemented to reform the state’s public housing system. Other reforms have included requiring local housing authorities to provide DHCD with the salaries of the five highest-paid management staff and setting a maximum salary for local housing authority executive directors, and require greater reporting of financial information.