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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Makes Affordable Rental Housing Awards to Shovel-Ready Projects Across Massachusetts

Direct funding and tax credit awards to seven projects will lead to the creation or preservation of 678 housing units, including 576 affordable units
For immediate release:
10/15/2021
  • 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 Makes Affordable Rental Housing Awards to Shovel-Ready Projects Across Massachusetts

Michael Verseckes, Director of Media and Public Relations

Secretary Kennealy and Undersecretary Maddox with local officials, developers, housing advocates, and others at the Briscoe School in Beverly.

BEVERLYThe Baker-Polito Administration announced more than $30 million in direct funding as well as the allocation of state and federal tax credits that will yield $200 million in equity to support the rehabilitation and production of 678 units of rental housing.  Included in the total number of units, the awards, which were made through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Rental Housing Rapid Production Program, will result in 576 affordable units with at least 140 units reserved for extremely low-income households. Projects in this round are located in in Attleboro, Beverly, Boston, Brockton, Holyoke, and Lawrence, and are backed by strong local partnerships. 
 
“The Rental Housing Rapid Production Program helps accelerate important investments in needed affordable housing, especially for projects with strong community support,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration has proposed investing $1 billion in housing priorities to help get even more projects moving in the next several years, to meet our communities’ needs. Our housing crisis demands an urgent response, and our administration is eager to support housing development in every region.”  
 
“These projects will bring valuable resources to their communities, including a performance art center in Beverly, and new community spaces in Jamaica Plain, in addition to much-need housing,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These new homes will help families, seniors, and households of all kinds access quality affordable housing, including in some cases wraparound support services for residents.” 
 
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox joined developers, legislators, and local officials on Thursday to announce the awards in front of the former Briscoe School in Beverly. The vacant school will be transformed into the Briscoe Village for Living and the Arts by Beacon Communities and Harborlight Community Partners, featuring senior housing, a 500-seat community theater and public green space. Among the 91 new units will be 85 affordable units for older adults, and six live-work artist studios.
 
“To truly address our housing crisis here in Massachusetts, we need more housing of all types across the Commonwealth, and these projects – with strong local support and experienced development teams – point to meaningful progress in our strategy to address this crisis head on,” said Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “I want to congratulate the project teams and their partner communities for their collaboration on these projects that will produce more needed housing, help reinvigorate their downtowns, and support our economic recovery, especially in communities that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.” 
 
“Today’s awards will fund a number of high-impact projects, including substantial transformation of our public housing assets in Jamaica Plain and South Boston, and rehabilitation of an important affordable housing resource in Attleboro,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “Preserving our existing housing, and ensuring it remains affordable into the future is an important part of our strategy to increase and diversify Massachusetts’ housing stock. Congratulations to all of our partners on this exciting milestone.” 
 
“Access to affordable housing is a critical issue on the North Shore and across Massachusetts,” said Senator Joan B. Lovely. “Briscoe Village for Living and the Arts is a unique mixed-use intergenerational community that will provide much needed senior housing, support community arts, and enhance City owned areas for public use. We are fortunate to have organizations like Harborlight Community Partners and Beacon Communities that continue to innovate and create solutions to our housing shortage.” 
 
“I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting this innovative housing initiative at the former Briscoe School,” said State Rep. Jerry Parisella. “Generations of Beverly students were educated at this historic building, and to now see this transformed into quality, affordable housing is a tremendous re-use of this valuable asset. This is a very unique development as it will provide housing for our deserving senior citizens, and also include a theater and space for artists in the City, which will support a thriving creative community in Beverly.” 
 
“It was a great honor to have Secretary Kennealy, Undersecretary Maddox, and DHCD Director Kate Racer join us in Beverly to share this very important news about our Briscoe School redevelopment with partner, Beacon Communities, as well as other vital projects,” said Andrew DeFranza, Executive Director of Harborlight Community Partners.  “This is a great day for housing and a big step forward not only for Beverly, but the Commonwealth as well, in increasing access to affordable homes across the state.  Each of these awards, including ours here on the North Shore, is a reflection of the critical impact that comes about with the hard work of community and state partnerships.” 
 
“In partnership with Harborlight, Beacon Communities is honored to be awarded funds to transform the historic Briscoe School in Beverly into 91 new apartments for low-income seniors,” said Dara Kovel, Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Communities.  “The leadership from the Baker-Polito Administration, Legislature, and DHCD to award these resources and accelerate projects that address the housing crisis has been tremendous. We look forward to breaking ground on this exciting development early next year.” 
 
Earlier this year, Governor Baker announced a plan to devote $1 billion in direct federal aid the Commonwealth received through the American Rescue Plan Act toward homeownership and housing production.  Through the use of existing programs, those funds would represent a significant investment to help increase housing production and reduce barriers to owning a home as part of the ongoing COVID-19 recovery effort. This funding plan calls for $200 million to fund rental housing production and provide increased housing options to workers and residents of disproportionately impacted municipalities, and $300 million to finance the statewide production of senior and veteran housing. These new housing resources build upon over $1.6 billion in separate federal funding that has already been allocated to entities throughout the Commonwealth for housing purposes since the start of the pandemic.  
 
The Baker-Polito Administration has shown a deep commitment to increasing the production of housing across all income levels. Since 2015, the 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 over 19,000 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. 
 
This year, 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 June, the administration and MassHousing made the first commitments through the CommonWealth Builders program, an initiative intended to create homeownership opportunities and build generational wealth in communities of color. The administration has also supported the development of more than 17,000 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.   
 
2021 Rental Housing Rapid Production Program awards:  
 
Gardner Terrace I is the first phase of a major acquisition and rehabilitation project located in Attleboro. The sponsor is the non-profit Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH).  In addition to the rehabilitation, the project will improve energy efficiency throughout the development. When completed, the project will include 92 fully rehabilitated units for individuals and households who are at least 55 years old and provide supportive services. A majority of the current tenants have incomes below 30% of area median income (AMI). DHCD will support the rehabilitation of Gardner Terrace I with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The city of Attleboro also will provide local funds in support of the project.   
  
Briscoe Village for Living and the Arts is a historic adaptive re-use project located in Beverly. The sponsors are Beacon Communities and the non‑profit Harborlight Community Partners. Beacon Communities and Harborlight Community Partners were selected by the city of Beverly to redevelop the former Briscoe School as mixed-income senior housing. DHCD will support Briscoe Village with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The city of Beverly also will provide funds in support of the project.  When completed, Briscoe Village will create 91 total units, with 85 units restricted for seniors earning less than 60% of AMI. Nine units will be further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of AMI. This historic re-use project will feature a 500‑seat community theater, which will be developed after the residential units are completed.  
  
Mildred Hailey Building 1B is part of a large-scale Jamaica Plain redevelopment initiative known as Mildred Hailey Phase One Master Plan. The Boston Housing Authority selected the non-profit The Community Builders (TCB) to redevelop the existing Mildred Hailey (formerly known as Bromley Heath) project.  When complete, this phase of the redevelopment will provide 123 units of mixed-income housing in a transit-oriented location in close proximity to grocery, retail, and commercial opportunities. The full redevelopment of Bromley Heath will include underground parking, infrastructure improvements, and ample community space. DHCD will support the project with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds.  The city of Boston and the Boston Housing Authority also will provide support to fund this significant redevelopment initiative.  
  
Old Colony Phase Five is a new construction project located in South Boston.  The sponsor, Beacon Communities has worked closely with the Boston Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city of Boston, and DHCD to fully redevelop the massive Old Colony public housing project over the last decade. So far, more than 500 units have been completed or under currently construction. When Old Colony Phase Five is developed, it will offer 104 new rental units, all of which will be affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI.  Fourteen units will be further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI. As for residents of earlier phases, extensive support services will be available to residents of this phase of Old Colony. The project is transit-oriented and located in close proximity to extensive green recreational space and Boston Harbor. The sponsor intends to build the project to Passive House design standards.   
  
Brockton South TOD is a 94‑unit new construction project located in Brockton. The sponsor is the non-profit NeighborWorks Housing Solutions. This transit-oriented project will be built on a site adjacent to the Campello Commuter Rail Station. DHCD will support the project with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds.  In addition, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded MassWorks funding to the city of Brockton to support various infrastructure improvements near the new project. The city of Brockton also will provide its own funds in support of the project. When completed, Brockton South TOD will offer 79 units restricted for rent by households earning less than 60% of AMI.  Fourteen units will be further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI.  
  
Appleton Mill Apartments is a historic adaptive re-use project located in Holyoke. The sponsor is WinnDevelopment. DHCD will support the project with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The city of Holyoke also will provide local funds of to support the project. When completed, Appleton Mill will create 88 units for residents who are at least 55 years of age. Seventy-four units will be reserved for residents with incomes less than 60% of AMI and 11 units will be further restricted for extremely low-income residents earning less than 30% of AMI and, in some cases, transitioning from homelessness. Appleton Mill is located in an Arts and Industry overlay district within Holyoke and is located near numerous recreational opportunities.  
  
Stone Mill Apartments is a historic adaptive re-use project located in Lawrence. The sponsor is WinnDevelopment. DHCD will support the project with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The city of Lawrence also will support the project with local funds. Stone Mill also will benefit from an additional $2.8 million energy grant.  When completed, Stone Mill will offer 86 total units for families, 69 units will be reserved for households earning less than 60% of AMI, with 11 units further restricted for households earning less than 30% of AMI.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Makes Affordable Rental Housing Awards to Shovel-Ready Projects Across Massachusetts

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.

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

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