- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $6.56 Million MassWorks Infrastructure Award in Holyoke
Ryan Boehm, Deputy Director of Communications
HOLYOKE — Today, Governor Charlie Baker joined Mayor Alex Morse and other Holyoke leaders to announce a $6.56 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant for streetscape improvements that will facilitate a Holyoke Housing Authority affordable housing project. The 90-unit development also utilizes state Urban Agenda funding and will lead to an anticipated $32 million in private investment.
The housing is planned around Carlos Vega Park through the coordination of the Holyoke Housing Authority (HHA) and Holyoke Redevelopment Authority (HRA) as part of its Urban Renewal Plan. The housing plan includes 66 rental units and 24 home ownership opportunities. HRA utilized an Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development’s Urban Agenda grant for pre-development work and land acquisition, which has set the stage for this project. The MassWorks award will fund a new traffic configuration, storm water bump out planters with new trees, new curbing and sidewalks, landscaping, street lighting, bike lanes and pedestrian connections, improved alleyways and a new 18,950 square-foot green space.
“MassWorks is a valuable program that maximizes return on investment for capital funding, for the City of Holyoke this means delivering vital infrastructure that will bring new affordable housing online and spur additional development in the neighborhood,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This development joins the Lyman Terrace and Front & Heritage Streets projects unlocked by MassWorks funding, and we are pleased to bring more housing opportunities to the area.”
“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. “Our administration has been proud to support housing production and preservation across the region, and today’s MassWorks award is another investment is homes for Holyoke’s residents and the City’s continued revitalization.”
“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.”
HHA will contribute $139,500 for landscape design, engineering and cost estimating. The City will also leverage more than $9.4 million approved for other area projects to be completed in coordination with the MassWorks project. Simultaneously, Holyoke Water Works is making capital improvements in the area, and a $4 million Complete Streets project on Cabot Street between Race Street and the nearby Willimansett Bridge will be completed in the future and also support the housing project. This MassWorks award expedites new housing stock, will attract re-investment in the area and complements HHA’s prior successful MassWorks projects on Lyman Terrace and Front and Heritage Streets.
"The South Holyoke Homes development will be the largest housing investment project this neighborhood has seen in a century. The project's emphasis on creating more housing choices in our center city, particularly through pathways towards home ownership, will be transformational to the vicinity and to the families of South Holyoke. This project would not be possible without the sizeable and strategic investment in public infrastructure by the MassWorks program, and we are thankful to the Baker-Polito Administration for partnering with us to make this happen," said Mayor Alex Morse.
“I’m happy to see that this grant is going to the City of Holyoke and is being used for not only housing, but infrastructure and green spaces as well,” said Senator Donald Humason. “This is a big project for the city and its future. The positive impact it will have on the Holyoke community will be immense over the years.”
“This grant allows the City of Holyoke to move forward with our comprehensive community-driven redevelopment plan for this area of South Holyoke and addresses one of the biggest issues facing all of the Commonwealth today, which is housing,” said Representative Aaron Vega. “This grant is especially, impactful to me as this is the neighborhood I grew up in and the park is named after my father. Establishing more housing options, including home ownership, for families to stay in their neighborhood and to move up the economic ladder is critical for our city's future.”
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.