- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4.4 Million MassWorks Infrastructure Award for Somerville
Ryan Boehm, Deputy Director of Communication
SOMERVILLE — Today, Gov. Charlie Baker joined Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Senator Patricia Jehlen, Representative Christine Barber, and other local leaders and project partners at Somerville City Hall to announce a $4.4 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant in support of the redevelopment of the Clarendon Hill housing complex and the construction of new middle-income and market rate housing units in Somerville. The MassWorks award will fund roadway improvements and drainage work that will move the $130 million housing project forward.
The MassWorks funding provides the framework for redevelopment of an outdated 1940s style, 216-unit housing complex serving low-income residents and supports the construction of 80 new middle-income units and 295 new market rate units. The project will reconstruct the intersection of Powder House Boulevard and Alewife Brook Parkway to improve multimodal safety and accessibility for the site. The redevelopment project will accelerate the City’s goal of creating 6,000 new housing units by 2030, and the Baker-Polito administration's goal of 135,000 new housing units statewide by 2025, to help solve the housing crisis and to support the region’s workforce.
“MassWorks is a valuable program that maximizes return on investment for capital funding, delivering vital infrastructure repairs that improve public safety while stimulating local and private development, job growth and housing production,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This MassWorks round put particular emphasis on housing production, and we are proud to partner with the City of Somerville and their non-profit and development partners to address both local and statewide housing challenges through the creation of housing for residents across all income levels.”
“As former municipal leaders, Governor Baker and I know firsthand the value of flexible grant programs like MassWorks, which help communities make targeted enhancements and provide opportunities for economic development,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s award will unlock local housing production, filling a critical need in the community and supporting the administration’s goal of creating 135,000 new units of housing by 2025.”
“This administration recognizes the importance of reliable, modern infrastructure to the safety and success of communities of all sizes,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are proud of the improvements to public safety, thousands of new jobs and housing units, and millions of square feet of new commercial space that the MassWorks program has delivered for residents, and we look forward to continuing to leverage every tool at our disposal to ensure all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts continue to thrive.”
“Our state-aided public housing is a vital resource,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan. ”We are proud that through innovation and collaboration we are able to both preserve and grow the availability of housing here in Somerville.”
“MassHousing is pleased to be a partner in this transformative effort to rehabilitate and modernize more than 200 units of housing for lower-income households while also creating 80 new apartments for working families in Somerville,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “The MassWorks funding is going to result in major infrastructure improvements to the site and surrounding area that will not only enhance the housing community at Clarendon Hill, but the safety and accessibility of the neighborhood, overall.”
“The redevelopment of the housing complex at Clarendon Hill is an essential project for both current and future residents. It will modernize and enhance existing housing for some of our most vulnerable residents, add new affordable and market-rate units for more residents, and transform Clarendon Hill into a more walkable, mixed-income community. With the support of the Baker-Polito administration, Undersecretary Chan, and the MassWorks program, this project will be underway in the near future, and we're thankful for the continued generosity of this program to further our infrastructure projects and enhance the lives of our residents," said Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone.
"I'm glad to see this infrastructure project move forward. Residents at North Street deserve decent housing, which the project will finally provide. There will also be important new middle-income housing," said Senator Patricia Jehlen.
“I am so glad to that the state has appropriated these funds for this critical project in Somerville, which will improve safety for the entire neighborhood. As we continue to work towards improving pedestrian infrastructure citywide, this presents a great opportunity to improve an area of Alewife Brook Parkway,” said Representative Christine Barber.
The Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and Gate Residential, an affiliate of Redgate, have also committed $600,000 as a MassWorks match. The development team for the housing project is a partnership between the City of Somerville, Somerville Housing Authority, Somerville Community Corporation, POAH, and Gate Residential. This team is utilizing a hybrid financing approach that leverages private and tax credit equity in concert with the addition of market rate and middle-income units and support from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and MassHousing.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the MassWorks Program, which will help move the redevelopment of Clarendon Hill one step closer to reality. Somerville is arguably in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country. This redevelopment will preserve the affordability of the existing public housing apartments and create a residential community that offers a mix of housing types plus enhanced amenities and better connection to the surrounding neighborhood,” said Aaron Gornstein, president and CEO of POAH.
“We deeply appreciate the support of Governor Baker, Mayor Curtatone and Council President Ballantyne for a transformative redevelopment of the public housing at Clarendon Hill. This MassWorks grant will ensure that this redevelopment benefits and improves the entire neighborhood,” said Greg Bialecki, principal at Redgate.
Through the 2019 MassWorks round, the Baker-Polito Administration will award more than $72 million in MassWorks awards to a diverse mix of 36 projects in 35 communities across the Commonwealth, including nine Gateway Cities and eight communities that will receive MassWorks funding for the first time. The awards will unlock a total of $2.3 billion in private investment and more than 4,600 new full-time jobs, along with more than 3,100 new housing units, more than a third of which are affordable, building on the Administration’s efforts to tackle the ongoing housing shortage through complementary programs like historic funding for affordable housing and the proposed Housing Choice legislation. The transformative projects funded by the 2019 awards were selected from 92 applications, totaling $223 million in requests.
Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $456 million in MassWorks grants to support 219 shovel-ready projects in 141 communities. MassWorks funding has leveraged over $9.2B in private investments and made possible the creation of more than 14,000 new housing units and tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs.
Governor Baker signed economic development legislation in August 2018 that included substantial new funding for municipalities, including another $250 million for MassWorks awards. The legislation built on the Baker-Polito Administration’s work to partner with communities to catalyze economic development and create new opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth, including the 2016 Job Creation and Workforce Development act, which authorized $1 billion to support economic development efforts across the state, including a $500 million authorization for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, enhanced tools and the introduction of new strategies for job-readiness efforts.
Learn more about MassWorks here.