For Immediate Release - November 10, 2015

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $55,000 in Housing Grants to Brookline, Gloucester, and Methuen

PATH grants will fund efforts to increase housing access

Boston – Tuesday, November 9, 2015 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration awarded a total of $55,000 in Planning Assistance Toward Housing (PATH) grants to Brookline, Gloucester, and Methuen, to help these communities meet their housing needs.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) awarded $15,000 grants to Brookline and Gloucester to create Housing Production Plans. The Housing Production Plans will help these cities proactively meet their housing needs, while retaining local control over housing development. DHCD awarded a $25,000 grant to Methuen, to assist in the creation of a 40R Smart Growth District. The Smart Growth District will enable dense, mixed-use development near existing infrastructure.

“PATH grants help cities and towns identify and meet local needs, preparing our communities for the future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By helping communities direct their own growth, through increased multi-family housing opportunities, these grants will help create sustained job growth and economic development.”

“Grant opportunities and increased local aid funding will help communities meet local goals and address local needs,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We will continue to work with communities throughout Massachusetts to ensure that residents have access to affordable housing, and to help our cities meet their unique needs.”

The PATH program manages $600,000 in grant funding to help communities expand housing opportunities through community-initiated activities on municipally-owned sites; through changes to land use and zoning; through planning for housing and mixed-use development in specific geographic areas; and through the implementation of strategies identified in DHCD-approved Housing Production Plans.

“Gloucester’s receipt of this award is a testament to the partnership and cooperation between the Baker-Polito administration and the city on community-based housing,” said Senator Bruce Tarr. “Using this planning grant to move towards multi-family housing will have a direct and positive impact on housing production.”

“This grant will help us proactively plan for affordable housing that meets the community’s needs,” said Representative Jeffery Sanchez.

“I have been serving on a working group for Methuen’s downtown district and am particularly passionate about improving our downtown because of how this ties into my work on the Methuen Rail Trail,” said Representative Linda Dean Campbell. “Our downtown has tremendous potential because of its historic architecture and location in proximity to route 213 and I am excited to be a part of this process.”

“Working with communities to leverage local assets, develop municipal land, and create affordable housing is crucial to continued local and regional growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “I remain committed to helping communities find effective solutions to local problems by building on their unique strengths and assets.”

“DHCD is focused on creating multifamily housing that facilitates access to jobs and community services,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay. “PATH grants will help ensure that hardworking residents retain access to safe, stable housing. These grants will drive shared prosperity throughout Massachusetts.”

PATH is administered by DHCD and the Path Review Committee (PRC), which consists of Mass Housing, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, and MassDevelopment. Competitive grant applications are scored by DHCD staff and sent to the PRC for final approval. DHCD accepts grant applications on a rolling basis.