For Immediate Release - May 13, 2015

Salem, South Hadley, and Swampscott Receive Grants for Housing

Grants will increase access to housing and jobs for local residents

Boston – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 – The Department of Housing and Community Development today finalized three Planning Assistance Towards Housing (PATH) grants to help communities increase their housing stock in a manner consistent with local needs and state requirements: South Hadley and Swampscott received $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, for Housing Production Plans; and Salem received $30,000 to set up 40R Design Guidelines.

These projects are expected to dramatically increase housing supply while ensuring that vital decisions are made by those most impacted. Cities and towns that have not met state guidelines for affordable housing, but have a Housing Production Plan in place, are not required to approve 40B development. 40R zoning allows approval of dense, mixed-use, development near existing infrastructure.

“Investing in our cities and towns is one of the most effective choices we can make,” said Governor Charlie Baker, “and a focus on locally-directed smart growth and affordable housing will supplement local aid increases in this year’s budget. Allowing municipalities to direct their own housing programs ensures that housing is built in a way that supports local goals and meets local needs.”

“Helping communities grow through smart, sustainable, and effective spending is a critical part of our support for towns and municipalities,” said LT. Governor Karyn Polito. “I look forward to continued partnerships with local governments as the Governor and I work to ensure that residents have access to housing near where they work and live.”

“Setting up communities for success is a central part of our economic development plan, and ensuring that housing meets local needs is a vital part of the process” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. “Effective development requires supporting and empowering communities working to find innovative solutions that build on community strengths, previous investments, and regional specialties.”

“Building affordable, dense housing near existing infrastructure and development increases access to jobs and services for a range of families,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Crystal Kornegay. “PATH grants allow us to support forward-thinking communities using assets that are already in place.”

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

PATH is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Path Review Committee (PRC) which consists of Mass Housing, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, and MassDevelopment. The grants are competitive in nature-scored by DHCD staff and sent to the PRC for final approval. DHCD accepts applications on a rolling basis.