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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces Awards to Support Development of New Affordable Rental Housing

Utilizing $44 million in direct aid and tax credit allocations, 11 projects will create more than 580 new rental units, including 443 units affordable to low and very-low income households.
For immediate release:
2/04/2020
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Housing and Community Development

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Awards to Support Development of New Affordable Rental Housing

Ryan Boehm, Director of Communications

State and local officials celebrate affordable rental housing awards in East Boston.

EAST BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Senator Joe Boncore, Representative Adrian Madaro, and state and local officials to announce affordable housing awards for eleven projects across the Commonwealth. These awards will advance the development of 587 new rental units, including 443 rental units affordable for low- and extremely low-income households.
 
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) awarded $44.7 million in direct subsidy funding and allocated $16 million in State and Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Additionally, DHCD has reserved 37 Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) project based vouchers (PBVs) and 68 Housing Choice Section 8 PBVs to support long-term affordability. Project-based vouchers enable DHCD to further leverage state and federal resources to fund affordable housing development and ensure long-term affordability in these developments.
 
“Our administration continues to make substantial commitments to increase the development of new affordable housing in an effort to meet the need we see in every region,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We have invested more than $1 billion in the affordable housing ecosystem, created new programs to encourage development, and filed legislation to update zoning laws to promote equity and opportunity for all residents. Today’s awards will advance the production of hundreds of new rental units for families, seniors, and households transitioning out of homelessness.”
 
“We are proud to support these eleven projects in communities from New Bedford to Northampton, which will create hundreds of new opportunities for families and individuals struggling to afford housing in Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Housing that residents can afford is vital for strong, inclusive communities, and our administration is committed to finding new solutions and creative strategies to tackle this crisis, while working with the legislature to implement them.”
  
“Today’s housing crisis has the potential to inhibit our economy and put more families under financial strain, and that is why we have elevated the issue in the Commonwealth’s new economic development plan,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Kennealy. “With partners like East Boston CDC and Affirmative Investments, we are advancing more affordable projects throughout the state and creating the conditions for substantial new housing production for households across the income spectrum.”
 
“All our households deserve access to safe, quality housing they can afford,” said Housing and Community Development Acting Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “We are grateful to be part of an administration that prioritizes affordable housing, supportive services, and other resources for our most vulnerable households. We believe all of our residents deserve the opportunity to thrive with support and tools to achieve their goals.”
 
Today’s announcement took place at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, close to the site of the future Grace Apartments, which will offer 42 new units and supportive services for seniors. All of the units will be affordable to households earning less than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and include ten units which will be further restricted for extremely low-income seniors earning less than 30 percent of AMI and formerly homeless seniors. The City of Boston is also supporting the project with $1.7 million in local funding.

"Affordable housing is our City's number one need, and affordable housing is our number one focus," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "From Bartlett Station in Roxbury, to Bowdoin Street in Dorchester, to the Grace Apartments for seniors in East Boston, these affordable units will improve lives for residents here in Boston. We're grateful for this state partnership that makes more affordable housing possible. In Boston, we're doubling our investment in affordable housing this year, and we'll continue to work with urgency: our residents need more housing now, and we know we can build a community that is a home for everyone."
 
We at East Boston CDC are very grateful to the efforts by both Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh for providing us with the resources and tools to begin to address the dire affordable housing crisis,” said Al Caldarelli, Executive Director, East Boston CDC. “We look forward to providing more affordable housing for those in need.”
 
“Affirmative is so pleased to partner with EBCDC and the City and State on Grace Apartments,” said Tara Mizrahi, Principal at Affirmative Investments. “Situating affordable housing adjacent to transit and strong community health centers like the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center allows our low-income seniors to lead independent, active and healthy lifestyles, reducing the need for intensive health interventions, reducing their needs for vehicles and providing economic stability.”
 
“Affordable housing is a key part of building a healthier community,” said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center President and CEO Manny Lopes. “At EBNHC, we feel strongly that having access to safe, affordable housing promotes good health for all. We applaud the Baker-Polito administration in its efforts across the Commonwealth and also thank Mayor Walsh for his continued commitment to East Boston. EBNHC looks forward to continuing to work with our partner organizations and elected officials to address community needs.”
 
“We are excited for the opportunities to provide affordable housing for East Boston, especially our senior population,” said Senator Joe Boncore. “This investment makes necessary steps to address the housing crisis our community faces. By ensuring that new housing stock is affordable and accessible is how we can begin to live up to the promise that housing is a right – not a privilege.”
 
“I am excited that the East Boston Community Development Corporation (EBCDC) was selected as one of the mini rental housing grant recipients for the construction of Grace Apartments in East Boston. This project will deliver 42 units of much-needed affordable housing for our elderly neighbors. Our seniors have helped shape East Boston into the beautiful and vibrant community it is today,” said Representative Adrian Madaro. “Through this investment, I am pleased to see us repay their contributions by giving them the opportunity to remain in the community they love. I am especially proud of the work the EBCDC has done to address the acute need for affordable housing options in our neighborhood. They have long been a positive force in East Boston, committed to creating housing for all.”
 
The Baker-Polito Administration has shown a deep commitment to increasing the production of housing across income levels. Since 2015, the administration has invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing, resulting in the production and preservation of more than 18,000 housing units, including 16,000 affordable units. In 2018, Governor Baker signed the largest housing bond bill in Massachusetts history, committing more than $1.8 billion to the future of affordable housing production and preservation, which included more than $600 million to address capital needs in our state-aided public housing portfolio. DHCD works closely with quasi-public agencies, including MassHousing, MHP, and CEDAC, to preserve existing affordable housing and secure long-term affordability extensions. The administration has also advanced the development of more than 14,000 mixed-income housing units through the successful MassWorks Infrastructure Program, reformed the Housing Development Incentive Program, and worked with communities to implement smart-growth development and planning efforts.

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Affordable Rental Housing Awards
 
Mary D. Stone is an adaptive re-use project located adjacent to town hall in Auburn. The project sponsor, Pennrose, was selected through a town process to redevelop two empty school buildings, one of which is Mary D. Stone. When construction is complete, the former school building will offer 55-units for seniors, including 45 affordable-units for seniors with incomes below 60% of area median income (AMI). Six of the affordable units will be further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of AMI. DHCD will support Mary D. Stone with federal and state low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) and subsidy funds. The completed project also will offer supportive services to tenants.
 
Bartlett Station Building A is located in Boston. The sponsor is the non-profit Nuestra Comunidad. Bartlett Station Building A is the second phase of a major new construction project for families on a transit-oriented site. Nuestra Comunidad has already completed the first phase, featuring 60-units. The current phase, Bartlett Station Building A, will feature 60 additional new units for families, including 51 affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI. Sixteen units will be further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI, including formerly homeless families. DHCD will support Bartlett Station A with federal LIHTC as well as subsidy funds. The City of Boston will support this phase of Bartlett Station with nearly $4 million in local funding.
 
Bowdoin Street is located in Boston. The sponsor is the non-profit Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development, Inc. (VietAID). 191-195 Bowdoin Street is a new construction, transit-oriented project located near multiple retail and commercial opportunities. The completed project will offer 41-units, all of which will be affordable to low-income households earning less than 60% of AMI. Twelve of the 41 units will be further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI, including formerly homeless households. DHCD will support the Bowdoin Street project with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds. The City of Boston will provide the project with $2.4 million in local funding.
 
Grace Apartments is a new construction project for seniors in East Boston. The sponsor is the East Boston Community Development Corporation, Inc., working with Affirmative Investments. The completed project will offer 42-units for seniors, all of which will be affordable to seniors earning less than 60% of AMI. Ten units will be further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of AMI, including formerly homeless seniors. The project also will offer supportive services to tenants. DHCD will support Grace Apartments with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds. The City of Boston will support the project with $1.7 million in local funding.
 
Creative Class Lofts is a historic mixed-income project to be built in downtown Fall River. The sponsor is Alan Macomber, who recently completed a 103-unit market rate project in Fall River. When completed, Creative Class Lofts will feature 55 total units, with 11 units affordable to individuals or families earning less than 80% of AMI. DHCD will support the project with subsidy funds, and the City of Fall River will support the project with $1.9 million in local funding.
 
Essex Street is a substantial rehabilitation/new construction project located in downtown Lawrence. The sponsor is the non-profit Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. When completed, Essex Street will offer 39 total units, all of which will be affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI. Twelve units will be further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI, including households making the transition from homelessness. DHCD will support Essex Street with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds. The City of Lawrence also will provide funds in support of this project.
 
Glen Brook Way Apartments is a new construction project for families in Medway. The sponsor is the non-profit Metro West Collaborative, Inc. When completed, the project will offer 48-units, all of which will be affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI. Fifteen units will be further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI, including households making the transition from homelessness. DHCD will support Glen Brook Way with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds. The Town of Medway will support the project, which was permitted through Chapter 40B, with $1 million in Community Preservation Act funds.
 
Cliftex Phase II is a historic re-use project located in New Bedford. The sponsor is WinnDevelopment, which successfully completed the re-use of the first phase of the former Cliftex mill several years ago. When completed, Cliftex Phase II will offer 71-units for seniors, 56 of which will be affordable to seniors earning less than 60% of AMI. Eight units will be further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of AMI, including formerly homeless seniors. When Phase II is completed, the full Cliftex complex will offer 147 units, primarily affordable, for seniors. The development also will offer supportive services to new residents. DHCD will support Cliftex Phase II with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds.  The City of New Bedford also will provide local funds in support of this project.
 
Golda Meir Expansion is a new construction project for seniors to be built in Newton. The sponsor is the non-profit 2Life Communities. The new project will be constructed adjacent to the existing, highly successful Gold Meir project, developed by the same sponsor. The Golda Meir campus is transit-oriented: it is located less than half a mile from an MBTA subway stop on the Green Line. The campus also is located less than half a mile from Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Golda Meir Expansion will feature 68 new units for seniors, including 50 units restricted for seniors earning less than 60% of AMI. Twenty units will be further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of AMI, including formerly homeless seniors. Supportive services will be available at Golda Meir Expansion as well as at the existing Golda Meir building. When construction is completed on the expansion, the campus will feature 267 total units for seniors, primarily affordable. DHCD will support the project with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds. The City of Newton will support the project with $3.2 million in local funding.
 
Haywood House is a new construction project for seniors in Newton. The sponsor is the Newton Housing Authority, and the project will be constructed adjacent to an existing housing authority project for seniors. When completed, Haywood House will offer 55-units for seniors, of which 32 will be affordable to seniors earning less than 60% of AMI. Eleven units will be further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of AMI, including formerly homeless seniors. The completed project will feature supportive services available to the new tenants. DHCD will support Haywood House with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds. The City of Newton also will support the project with $3.6 million in local funding.
 
North Commons at Village Hill is a new construction project to be built on the site of the long-closed Northampton State Hospital. The sponsor is the non-profit The Community Builders (TCB). The sponsor previously completed two other housing projects, with 73 total units, on the former hospital site, with a third project with 12 additional units under construction. Thus, North Commons at Village Hill will be the sponsor’s fourth housing project on the former state hospital site. When completed, North Commons at Village Hill will feature 53-units, with 39-units restricted for households earning less than 60% of AMI. Twelve units will be further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI, including households making the transition from homelessness. DHCD will support North Commons at Village Hill with federal and state LIHTC and subsidy funds. The City of Northampton also will provide local funds in support of this project.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Awards to Support Development of New Affordable Rental Housing

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development promotes vibrant communities, growing businesses, and a strong middle class.

Housing and Community Development 

DHCD oversees funding and resources to help people in Massachusetts live affordably and safely.
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