Tri-Town Landing
Providing people with homes they can afford is one of the most vital and significant elements of the stimulus program. Under two of the stimulus program's housing initiatives -- the Tax Credit Assistance Program and the Low Income Housing grants in Lieu of Tax Credits -- 1,635 affordable housing units have been built across the state.

Recovery Act Impact: Tri-Town Landing

  • Tax Credit Exchange Program: $6.45 million

  • Affordable Housing: 60 units

  • Affordable to families earning less than 60% of area median income

Sixty of those units are in Tri-Town Landing in Lunenburg. The project, located on land that was formerly a drive-in movie theater, was in planning since 2003 but a stimulus grant of $6.45 million under the Tax Credit Exchange program is what finally enabled this project to be built.

"Stimulus came through for us," said Bill Caseldon, of Great Bridge Properties, the project's developer.

According to town planner Marian Benson, the town was the first of the state's 40R applicants - a smart growth statute that allows communities to create dense

Tri-Town Landing
mixed-use zoning districts, including affordable housing. The town, she said wanted an affordable housing project.

Great Bride Properties stepped in to take over the project in 2008 after the original developer didn't work out. Then, Caseldon said referring to the economy's downturn at the time, the world came to an end.

"Our key resource was federal tax credits which we had. Normally, we would easily get investors but that completely disappeared," he said. "We knocked on every door. The limited equity that was out there headed to New York City or San Francisco. We would say Central Massachusetts to a tax credit investor and forget it, it wasn't happening."

But Great Bridge was able to participate in the stimulus-funded tax credit

Tri-Town Landing
exchange program. "That's what made this project happen," he said. "The stimulus provision was big and it allowed us to get going."

That not only made Benson and the people of Lunenburg happy but also subcontractors like Mike Crowley of MP Crowley and Sons, who were glad to get the work. "The last few years have been really tough," said Crowley. "This has been our best job in a while."

New tenant Maritza Santiago, a single mother with three children, is also pleased. "This has provided an opportunity for families like me to make it," she said.