- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Housing and Community Development
- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration and MassHousing Announce $7 Million in New Funding for Affordable Housing in Four Communities
Michael Verseckes, Director of Media and Public Relations
BOSTON — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration and MassHousing announced $7.02 million in Community Scale Housing Initiative (CSHI) awards, which will help create 66 new rental homes for residents across a range of incomes in Hamilton, Holyoke, Somerville, and on Martha’s Vineyard.
CSHI is a joint initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and MassHousing that provides funding to produce smaller scale affordable housing developments in communities with populations fewer than 200,000. Prior to the program’s introduction in 2017, there was no dedicated state funding stream for advancing small-scale affordable housing projects.
“The Commonwealth’s housing needs are diverse and urgent, and programs like the Community Scale Housing Initiative allow us to more effectively partner with cities and towns to develop new housing that meets local needs,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Every new unit of housing that we develop brings opportunity and stability to families across the Commonwealth.”
“The Community Scale Housing Initiative empowers communities to meet unique local challenges and deliver on local priorities by providing funds to amplify local affordable housing efforts, making the Commonwealth a key partner on a broad range of housing developments,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to help strengthen municipalities and create more homes for working families.”
The most recent CSHI funding round awarded $7.02 million in direct subsidy financing from DHCD and MassHousing to advance the four new construction projects. To date, CSHI has awarded $17.7 million and advanced 181 new housing units in 15 communities across the Commonwealth. All the projects have also received local funding and support from their home community.
“The Community Scale Housing Initiative is a key component of our efforts to reverse the trends of the Commonwealth’s housing market, which for too long has been plagued by a lack of available units, sky-high prices, and restrictive zoning that have hurt our most vulnerable families, working households, and employers struggling to retain talent,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Today’s awards are an important part of our multi-layered strategy to encourage housing production of all kinds in every part of our Commonwealth. These locally driven projects will provide housing near transit, workforce housing, and extremely affordable units in these communities.”
“DHCD works with cities and towns of all sizes to advance development that makes sense, connecting them with resources and programs to support their goals,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “Hamilton, Holyoke, Somerville and Martha’s Vineyard will welcome new, affordable housing to address local housing needs, joining many communities in Massachusetts actively planning for new housing.”
“The Community Scale Housing Initiative allows communities of many different sizes to develop new, mixed-income housing that fits the makeup of their city or town,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “Finding an affordable place to live is one of the biggest challenges facing residents of the Commonwealth —this program provides a crucial opportunity to help change that.”
The four projects receiving financing from the most recent funding round are:
Willow Street in Hamilton, an 18-unit, mixed-income, mixed-use project being developed by the Traggorth Companies. Located less than a block from the Hamilton-Wenham commuter rail station, Willow Street will encompass three stories, with apartments on the second and third floors and community space on the first floor. The project is receiving $1.7 million in CSHI financing through MassHousing and DHCD, $4.5 million in construction financing from Eastern Bank, which will convert to permanent financing, and $500,000 in local Affordable Housing Trust funds from the town of Hamilton. Upon completion, Willow Street will provide nine units affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI and nine units will be rented at market rates. Willow Street will also be highly sustainable and is expected to achieve Passive House certification.
South Holyoke Homes Phase I in Holyoke is the first of five phases of affordable rental and homeownership development by the Holyoke Housing Authority (HHA) centered around Carlos Vega Park in South Holyoke. The 12-unit project has received $2 million in CSHI financing, $550,000 in HOME funds from the City of Holyoke, $840,000 in permanent financing from PeoplesBank, and $908,759 in developer equity. Of the $6.6 million the HHA was awarded from MassWorks for the South Holyoke Homes project in 2019 to support infrastructure and streetscape, $221,000 will be used in this first phase. Upon completion, nine of the 12 total units created in Phase I will be affordable to households earning up to 30 percent of AMI, with three units affordable to households earning up to 50 percent of AMI. All the units will be supported by a federal Section 8 housing subsidy.
31 Tufts Street in Somerville will be a 16-unit affordable and workforce housing community developed on city-owned land by E3 Development, LLC. The project is receiving $1.3 million in CSHI financing and $1 million from the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust. Upon completion, 31 Tufts Street will feature three units affordable to households earning up to 50 percent of AMI, five units affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI, and eight units of workforce housing for households earning up to 110 percent of AMI. The development will feature publicly accessible open space, will be highly sustainable and is expected to achieve Passive House certification.
Kuehns Way Rental Apartments in Tisbury will be constructed as part of Chapter 40B by the nonprofit Island Housing Trust Corporation. The 20-unit project in 10 duplex buildings will receive $1.01 million in CSHI financing, $1 million in MassHousing Workforce Housing Initiative financing, $1.6 million in MassHousing permanent financing, $1.9 million in developer equity, $1.58 million in Tisbury Community Preservation Act funds, and $921,000 in construction financing from Martha’s Vineyard Bank. Upon completion, Kuehns Way Rental Apartments will be the largest affordable rental housing development built on Martha’s Vineyard in 15 years. Of the 20 units, two will be restricted to households earning up to 30 percent of AMI, eight units will be for households earning up to 60 percent of AMI, and 10 units will be for households earning up to 80 percent of AMI.
Last week, Governor Baker announced a plan to devote $1 billion from the Commonwealth’s direct federal aid to funding homeownership and housing priorities, a significant investment to help increase housing production and reduce barriers to owning a home as part of the ongoing COVID-19 recovery effort.
About the Department of Housing and Community Development
The Department of Housing and Community Development, through its community and business partners, provides affordable housing options, financial assistance, and other support to Massachusetts communities. They oversee many different types of assistance and funding for consumers, businesses, and non-profit partners.
MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 to provide financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The Agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, and to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing does not use taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations, although it administers some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception, MassHousing has provided more than $27 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.