Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $31 Million to 11 Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities

Permanent Supportive Housing Program directs funding, tax credit allocations, and vouchers for the preservation and creation of more than 230 housing units and 200 shelter beds
For immediate release:
7/20/2022
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $31 Million to 11 Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities

Kelsey Schiller, Director of Communications & Media Relations

WorcesterYesterday, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $31 million in direct subsidies, tax credits, and housing vouchers to support the development and preservation of 11 housing facilities in Massachusetts, including 237 permanent housing units and 200 shelter beds for families and individuals. Since 2015, the Permanent Supportive Housing Program has produced or preserved more than 3,500 permanent supportive housing units for families, individuals, veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. 
 
“Building and preserving supportive housing is a critical part of ensuring a healthy housing market that meets the diverse needs of our Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to direct state and federal funds to bolster the pipeline of housing projects and provide stable housing options for all households.”  
 
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, and Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox joined Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty, Acting Worcester City Manager Eric Batista, representatives from The Community Builders and Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, and local officials at the Aurora Apartments in Worcester to celebrate this year’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program awards round.  
 
“These awards will provide vital housing resources in cities and towns across our state, and we are proud to support the creation of new shelter and permanent housing units this year,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Here in Worcester, the redevelopment of the Aurora Apartments will ensure this building remains a vibrant part of our downtown and offers a unique resource to individuals struggling with housing stability. We are grateful to our partners across the Commonwealth for dedicating their expertise to our most vulnerable populations.” 
 
Each year, the Department of Housing and Community Development works with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) to distribute capital funds as well as project-based housing vouchers to pay for supportive services through a competitive process administered by the agency’s Supportive Housing for Vulnerable Populations program. These supportive services support veterans, older adults, persons with disabilities, individuals and families who have experienced homelessness, as well as unaccompanied youth. Specialized services may include child care, mental health services, job training, case management, and other services for vulnerable populations.  
 
“In the midst of Massachusetts’ ongoing housing crisis, it is critical that we build and preserve permanent supportive housing that meets the needs of our most vulnerable residents,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Housing has been a key area of focus for the Baker-Polito Administration since day one, and we are continuing that commitment now by directing $31 million to support 11 housing projects from Springfield to Boston.”
 
“We have a housing shortage affecting every corner of our Commonwealth, but we also have an incredible opportunity to leverage growing momentum for housing production and immense new state and federal resources,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “The Department of Housing and Community Development is committed to helping cities and towns plan for housing by providing technical assistance and funding to help projects move from an idea to new homes.”
 
“CEDAC is proud to collaborate with the Baker-Polito Administration and our non-profit housing partners on these new supportive housing developments, which come at a time of intense need as the Commonwealth faces an ongoing housing shortage that affects the most vulnerable members of our population,” said Roger Herzog, Executive Director of CEDAC. “We look forward to continuing our work with Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox and her team at the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as we pursue our mission to increase housing accessibility for those in need.”  
 
At the Aurora Apartments in Worcester, The Community Builders will undertake substantial renovations to all 85 micro-units, including restoration of historic elements, new heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, a new suite for on-site staff, security improvements, and a new community room. All units will be reserved for individuals making less than 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), and 30 will be reserved for extremely low-income individuals and those transitioning from homelessness. Open Sky Community Services will provide supportive services for residents.  
 
“I want to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for their continued support of affordable housing projects here in Worcester, and across the Commonwealth,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “We need more housing at every level of the affordable spectrum and these funds are going a long way to make that happen.”
 
“We are excited to celebrate this milestone and the continued public-private partnerships between the City of Worcester, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the development community to keep expanding our housing stock,” said Acting City Manager Eric D. Batista. “The City is pleased to provide $250,000 in HOME funds to help The Community Builders with this project at the Aurora. The renovation of these 85 units will provide needed improvements to the units and extend the affordability restriction for years to come. By working together, we’re helping meet the needs of our community, for all of our residents, and across all income levels.”
 
“This critical funding from DHCD will support our most vulnerable residents, some as they transition from foster care, access mental and behavioral healthcare, and pursue their own dreams,” said Andy Waxman, Regional Vice President of The Community Builders. “TCB is committed to providing stable housing and supportive services that make neighborhoods stronger.” 
 
“With the housing crisis we are experiencing in Worcester especially for individuals, this award will increase the number of units available to our lowest income neighbors,” said Leah Bradley, Executive Director of Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance. “From March of 2021 to March of 2022, we have seen a 45% increase in the City in individuals experiencing homelessness. Community Builders and Open Sky are key partners in providing housing with wrap around services to help us address this growing concern.” 

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has invested more than $1.4 billion in the affordable housing ecosystem, resulting in the production and preservation of more than 22,000 housing units, including more than 19,000 affordable units across the Commonwealth. 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.   
  
In 2021, Governor Baker signed economic development legislation titled An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth that includes substantial new funding for affordable and climate-resilient housing, as well as targeted zoning reforms to advance new housing production. In April, the Baker-Polito Administration filed a $3.5 economic development bill, including nearly $300 million in additional bond authorization for public housing and affordable rental housing development.  

Award Recipients:

150 Pleasant Street (Attleboro): Nonprofit sponsor NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, working with Father Bills & Mainspring, Inc. (FBMS), will create 22 new supportive housing units for extremely low-income adults, as well as 18 new emergency shelter beds for homeless individuals. The completed project will include extensive services for residents. DHCD will support this project with subsidy funds. The City of Attleboro will also support the project with funds of its own, and the sponsor is involved in an ongoing fundraising campaign in support of 150 Pleasant Street.

House of Hope Shelter (Attleboro): Nonprofit sponsor New Hope will offer shelter and services to individuals and families who have experienced domestic violence at a new shelter featuring 14 rooms, including accessible rooms, that will replace two existing, smaller shelters. New Hope will offer residents of the new shelter multiple support services, including therapeutic counseling and case management, as well as access to services available in the broader community. DHCD will support the House of Hope Shelter with subsidy funds. The City of Attleboro also will support the shelter with funds of its own. In addition, New Hope as secured almost $1.4 million in support for the project through extensive fundraising.

Warren Street Housing (Boston): Nonprofit sponsor Commonwealth Land Trust will rehabilitate two buildings in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood that, when complete, will offer 26 single-room occupancy (SRO) units for homeless individuals earning less than 50% of area median income (AMI). Thirteen SROs will be further restricted for homeless individuals earning less than 30% of AMI. The sponsor will offer extensive support services to the residents of Warren Street Housing. DHCD will support the project with subsidy funds. The City of Boston also will support Warren Street Housing with funds of its own. 

Manley Street Housing Resource Center (Brockton): Nonprofit sponsor Father Bill’s & Mainspring, Inc. (FBMS) is building the Manley Street Housing Resource Center that will offer 128 new shelter beds as well as an on-site health clinic and an expanded homeless service center. The organization also hopes to construct an addition to the resource center to create 32 SRO units for homeless individuals. Both the resource center and the proposed 32‑unit project are located less than one quarter-mile from The Roadway, a hotel that FBMS recently converted, with state assistance, to SROs with services for homeless individuals. DHCD is supporting the project with subsidy funds. The City of Brockton also is supporting the project with substantial funds of its own. 

35 Harvey Street (Cambridge): This is an occupied rehabilitation project sponsored by the nonprofit Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc., working with CASCAP, Inc. When rehabilitation work is completed, the project will consist of 12 SRO units with individual bathrooms and kitchenettes. All 12 SROs will be restricted for individuals earning less than 50% of AMI, with 10 SROs further restricted for individuals earning less than 30% of AMI. The sponsor also will offer extensive services to the residents of 35 Harvey Street. DHCD will support the project with subsidy funds. The City of Cambridge also will support 35 Harvey Street with funds of its own. 

Catalyst Housing (Lynn): This is a historic re-use project that will serve homeless and/or extremely low‑income individuals, sponsored by the nonprofit Harborlight Community Partners, Inc., working with The Haven Project, Inc. When construction is complete, the project will offer 24 studio units, with 23 units reserved for homeless individuals, including youth and young adults. The sponsor also will offer extensive support services to the new residents of Catalyst Housing. DHCD will support this project with low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Lynn also will support Catalyst Housing with funds of its own. 

Lynn Emergency Shelter (Lynn): Nonprofit sponsor Lynn Shelter Association will rehab the Lynn Emergency Shelter that will offer 40 beds for homeless adults with extensive support services for residents. DHCD will support the project with subsidy funds. The City of Lynn will support the project with funds of its own, and the sponsor is engaged in an ongoing fundraising campaign in support of this important project.

New Point Apartments (Salem): This is a historic preservation project consisting of three properties located in Salem’s Point neighborhood, sponsored by the nonprofit North Shore Community Development Corporation. When rehabilitation work is completed, the project will offer 18 total units. Seventeen units will be restricted for households earning less than 50% of AMI, with 10 units further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI. When units become vacant, the sponsor and management company will give preference on the project waitlist to homeless families. The sponsor also will provide support services to tenants living at New Point Apartments. DHCD will support the project with low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Salem also will support the project with funds of its own. 

275 Chestnut Supportive Housing (Springfield): This is a new construction project located at the former YMCA building in downtown Springfield sponsored by the nonprofit Home City Development, Inc. When work is completed, the project will offer 29 SRO units for chronically homeless and extremely low-income individuals. The project sponsor will offer extensive support services to the new residents of 275 Chestnut, and residents will also have access to certain facilities available in the community. DHCD will support the project with low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Springfield also will support the project with funds of its own. 

Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community (Tewksbury): This is a new construction project sponsored by the nonprofit sponsor Soldier On, Inc. that, when completed, will offer 21 studio and one-bedroom units. All units will be restricted for veterans earning less than 80% of AMI, with 12 units further restricted for veterans earning less than 50% of AMI.  Six units will be reserved for veterans earning less than 30% of AMI.  When completed, the project will offer extensive support services for new residents. DHCD will support the project with subsidy funds. The Town of Tewksbury also will support the project with funds of its own. 

Aurora Apartments Redevelopment (Worcester): Nonprofit sponsor The Community Builders (TCB) will rehabilitate the Aurora Apartments, which, when complete, will feature 85 studios for individuals earning less than 60% of AMI. Thirty studios will be reserved for individuals earning less than 30% of AMI and, in some cases, transitioning from homelessness. In addition to services available in the surrounding downtown neighborhood, the sponsor will offer on-site services to the residents of Aurora Apartments. DHCD will support the project – currently occupied – with low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Worcester also will provide funds of its own to support Aurora Apartments. 

About CEDAC   
CEDAC is a public-private community development financial institution that provides project financing and technical expertise for community-based and other non-profit organizations engaged in effective community development in Massachusetts. CEDAC’s work supports two key building blocks of community development: affordable housing and early care and education. CEDAC is also active in state and national housing preservation policy research and development and is widely recognized as a leader in the non-profit community development industry. For additional information on CEDAC and its current projects, please visit www.cedac.org.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $31 Million to 11 Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities

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.
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