For Immediate Release - May 03, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Receives Top Honors from HUD

BOSTON - Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - The following are statements from Governor Deval Patrick and Department of Housing & Community Development Undersecretary Tina Brooks recognizing the Commonwealth's receipt of two "Door Knocker" awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Announced in Bethesda, MD today, the awards honor projects funded through the federal HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program and administered by DHCD. The "Door Knocker" awards, HUD's highest honor, went to affordable housing development projects in Springfield and Pittsfield. Additionally, the Patrick-Murray Administration received honorable mentions for HOME projects in Harwich, Cambridge and Northampton while three other DHCD-funded projects in Boston and Somerville were singled out for excellence. In all, Massachusetts received more first-place awards than any other state or city in the country. Project details follow directly below the statements.

STATEMENT OF GOVERNOR PATRICK

"We see the short and long-term value in expanding access to first-rate affordable housing. It creates jobs for today, stronger communities for tomorrow and more opportunity for everyone," said Governor Patrick. "With help from the Obama Administration, we are building projects with the power to bring positive change to individuals, families and neighborhoods across our Commonwealth."

STATEMENT OF DHCD UNDERSECRETARY BROOKS

"I am so proud of the dedicated team of professionals at DHCD and across our affordable housing delivery system for bringing these worthwhile projects to life. We are fortunate to have steadfast partners throughout all levels of government and in the quasi-public and non-profit sectors who understand that affordable housing is essential to the Commonwealth's economic vitality. These projects create a brighter future for the workers who construct them, the people who call them home and the communities that welcome them."

PROJECT DETAILS

Door Knocker Awards:

The Worthington Commons project in Springfield involved the preservation of existing though deteriorated affordable family housing and the production of new affordable housing in a neighborhood hard hit by crime. The successful completion of Worthington Commons triggered further redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood. The sponsor is Gordon Pulsifer of First Resource Development Company, and DHCD provided a $385,500 HOME loan, as well as tax credits, to support the development of the project. The project created an estimated 106 construction jobs.

The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community project in Pittsfield - also called Soldier On - received a Door Knocker award in a category intended to recognize projects that successfully house under-served populations. The Gordon Mansfield project involved the new construction of a community of 39 studio and one-bedroom units, including ten accessible units, and common space for veterans who were formerly homeless or at risk of homelessness. The project is also a limited-equity cooperative, which allows tenants to build equity over the term of their residency. The sponsor is the non-profit United Veterans of America and DHCD provided a $720,000 HOME loan as well as state bond funds to support the development of this project. The project created an estimated 50 construction jobs.

Honorable Mentions:

Trolley Square in Cambridge was recognized as a highly sustainable and transit-oriented project. Located on Massachusetts Avenue, this attractive project was built on the site of a derelict storage facility for municipal buses and trolleys. Two subway stations are less than a ten-minute walk from the project, as is a commuter rail station. Up to five bus lines serve the project on Massachusetts Avenue. Trolley Square tenants have excellent access to retail opportunities and services along the avenue. The carefully designed center courtyard at the project is heavily used by tenants in good-weather months. The project sponsor - Homeowners Rehab Inc. of Cambridge - and the architects (now called Davis Square Associates) were careful to incorporate numerous elements of green design into the project. Trolley Square is a mixed-income, mixed tenure project containing both rental and ownership units. DHCD provided tax credits as well as $1 million in state HOME funds and state bond funds to support Trolley Square. The project created an estimated 61 construction jobs.

Thankful Chases Pathway in Harwich is a small scale development (12 units) and received an honorable mention as a highly sustainable project. Undertaken by a small non-profit committed to protecting the environment, the project achieved the highest "green" rating -- LEED-certified platinum. Green and/or sustainable elements of design and construction include photovoltaic panels, passive solar water heating, high-efficiency boilers and exceptional insulation. In addition, all residents receive "green" training. All units also have "visitability" features, while two units are fully handicapped-accessible. DHCD provided the project with a $550,000 state HOME loan as well as state bond funds. The sponsor is Community Development Partnership. The project created an estimated 24 construction jobs.

The work of the non-profit Valley CDC in Northampton was recognized with an honorable mention. For years, Valley CDC has played a significant role in the western Massachusetts affordable housing delivery system, working with communities in the Connecticut River Valley and specializing in both family housing and single-room occupancy housing for extremely low-income individuals. Shortly after the HOME program was implemented in 1991, Valley CDC became certified by DHCD as a HOME CHDO - a special-status non-profit working on the program and receiving HOME funds. Over time, DHCD has provided $2.4 million in state HOME funds to support the development of seven Valley CDC properties.