Baker-Polito Administration Advances Public Housing Redevelopment Partnerships in Chelsea and Somerville
New Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities grants will support the development of 846 new housing units
Chelsea – September 14, 2016 – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced a total of $600,000 in public housing planning and predevelopment grants to the Chelsea and Somerville Housing Authorities. The grants, made under the administration’s new Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities program, will advance substantial mixed-income housing development activities in Chelsea and Somerville, and unlock the construction of 846 new housing units.
“Our administration’s Open for Business initiative is rethinking state landholdings across Massachusetts, creating new opportunities for housing and economic development on underutilized state-owned parcels,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through our new Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities, we will give local public housing authorities the tools to act in a similar manner. These planning grants will allow Chelsea and Somerville to advance public-private partnerships that will substantially improve the quality of life for residents of public housing communities, while increasing the construction of private rental housing.”
The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is awarding a pair of $300,000 planning and predevelopment grants to the Chelsea and Somerville Housing Authorities. The grants will advance the redevelopment of Chelsea’s Innes Apartments, and Somerville’s Clarendon Hill Apartments. The public housing complexes will be redeveloped into new communities that mix publicly subsidized, workforce, and market-rate housing units.
“This innovative partnership between the Commonwealth, local housing authorities, and the housing development community will empower municipalities to launch transformative community development initiatives,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These partnerships will unlock the modernization of the state’s public housing stock, while also delivering new, privately-financed workforce housing.”
Under the Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities, local housing authorities will enter into development partnerships with outside housing developers, who will completely redevelop the Innes and Clarendon Hill properties. In return for the modernization of the local state-aided public housing stock, including a full one-to-one replacement of current subsidized units, the housing authorities’ development partners will construct additional new market-rate and workforce housing units at the Innes and Clarendon Hill properties.
“These awards reflect our commitment to creating new housing opportunities for all the Commonwealth’s residents,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “New housing production supports economic growth. We are promoting housing growth by building local capacity, incentivizing smart growth, and fostering collaborative development partnerships that serve the needs of residents of all income levels.”
The two redevelopment and modernization projects will result in the replacement and preservation of a total of 312 state-aided public housing units, and the development of an additional 534 market-rate and workforce housing units.
“By empowering local housing authorities to think creatively and entrepreneurially about their own real estate holdings, we are addressing deferred capital needs in state-aided public housing, leveraging private funds, and accelerating new housing production,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay. “We commend the Cities of Chelsea and Somerville for their leadership, and we look forward to supporting public-private partnerships in additional communities.”
The Chelsea Housing Authority will partner with Joseph J. Corcoran Co., an affiliate of Corcoran Jennison, to redevelop the Innes Apartments into a new 320-unit mixed-income community. Joseph J. Corcoran Co. will replace on-site the Authority’s 96 subsidized units, which serve low-income families, and develop an additional 224 market-rate housing units. The project is located one block from the Silver Line Gateway’s future Eastern Avenue station. DHCD’s $300,000 planning and predevelopment grant will fund design work, environmental assessment costs, and predevelopment consulting costs. The Innes Apartments were originally built in 1950.
“By forging new partnerships between our housing authority and the outside development community, Chelsea will be able to substantially improve our public housing stock at the same time that we advance economic growth,” said Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “And, the combination of 96 modern public housing units and 224 new market rate units will ensure that Chelsea has additional housing options for families at all income levels.
The Somerville Housing Authority will partner with Gate Residential, Preservation of Affordable Housing and the Somerville Community Corporation to redevelop the Clarendon Hill Apartments into a new 526-unit mixed-income community. The development partnership will replace on-site Clarendon Hill’s existing 216 subsidized units, which serve low-income families, and develop an additional 254 market-rate housing units, and 56 units of workforce housing. DHCD’s $300,000 planning and predevelopment grant will fund design work, environmental assessment costs, relocation planning, and other predevelopment consulting costs. The Clarendon Hill Apartments were originally built in 1948.
“To address the region’s pressing housing needs, we need the kind of inclusive approaches that the state’s Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities is supporting,” said City of Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “So I want to thank DHCD, not only for funding the Clarendon Hill project, but for shining a light on the need to both expand workforce and market rate housing as well as provide quality public housing for our most vulnerable residents.”
In addition to the $600,000 in grant awards to Chelsea and Somerville, DHCD is also making a second round of planning and predevelopment grants available to local housing authorities. The new grant round will commit a minimum of $250,000, to allow additional communities to explore and advance redevelopment and modernization projects.
The Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities reflects the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to substantially invest in housing across the Commonwealth. In May, the Administration unveiled a 5-year capital budget plan that dedicates a $1.1 billion to increasing housing production and preservation, an 18 percent funding increase for mixed-income housing production, and affordable housing preservation. In May, the Administration and MassHousing committed $100 million, to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units. And in August, the Administration awarded roughly $90 million in tax credits and housing subsidies, to support the development and preservation of 1,334 affordable housing units.