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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Visits Homeownership Project in Everett, Highlights $1 Billion Housing Plan Using Federal Funds

Proposed Investments Would Help Communities of Color Build Wealth Through Homeownership
For immediate release:
8/02/2021
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Visits Homeownership Project in Everett, Highlights $1 Billion Housing Plan Using Federal Funds

Terry MacCormack, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

commonwealth builder everett

EVERETTThe Baker-Polito Administration today joined municipal officials and community leaders in Everett to celebrate progress of the redevelopment of the St. Therese parish property into new housing for families and seniors. The project is supported by the Administration’s CommonWealth Builder initiative, which aims to connect families with homeownership opportunities so they can build wealth, especially in communities of color. The Administration highlighted its proposal to invest $1 billion in housing initiatives like CommonWealth Builder as part of its $2.9 billion plan to invest a portion of Massachusetts’ federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act in urgent priorities to support communities of color and low-income workers. 

“Our Administration is proud to support the work happening at the former St. Therese property in Everett because we know the difference these new homes will make in people’s lives,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our proposal to invest $1 billion in housing priorities using a portion of Massachusetts’ federal funds would enable the CommonWealth Builder program to have an even greater impact as we seek to connect more families with homeownership opportunities and the chance to build long-term wealth. By making these investments, we can accelerate an equitable recovery, support those who were hardest-hit by the pandemic, and create real and lasting change in communities across Massachusetts.”

“New housing builds stronger communities, and the redevelopment of St. Therese is a showcase for the kinds of housing opportunities we want to unlock across Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration has helped create and preserve 19,000 affordable homes, and we now have the chance to do so much more. Thousands of new homes throughout the state are waiting to break ground, and with $1 billion in federal recovery funds, we can create opportunities for the communities and residents who were hardest hit by the pandemic.”

The Neighborhood Developers is in the process of transforming the former church property into 77 new affordable rental homes with supportive services for seniors, as well as 6 townhomes which will be sold to working families at affordable prices. It anticipates accepting applications to live in the apartments and townhomes by early 2022. 

The Neighborhood Developers is building the affordable senior rental homes with affordable housing resources from the Commonwealth and with MassDevelopment financing. The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center will provide on-site services to senior residents. The for-sale townhomes are being developed under MassHousing’s CommonWealth Builder Program, which advances new homeownership and wealth-building opportunities for first-time homebuyers in communities of color.

The Baker-Polito Administration is proposing to invest $1 billion in direct federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into housing to support populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and help communities of color build wealth.  From that total, $500 million in federal funds would be dedicated to expanding homeownership opportunities in communities hardest-hit by COVID-19 pandemic by supporting first-time homebuyers and scaling up the CommonWealth Builder Program. The Administration has also proposed investing $500 million in federal funding to create more affordable rental homes, including service-rich rental units for seniors and veterans.

“Our housing crisis demands a strategy that will result in more housing of all types across the Commonwealth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.  “Thanks to MassHousing for implementing the CommonWealth Builder program, we can target homeownership opportunities to families that have historically faced barriers to purchasing homes and the chance to build the wealth that comes along with it.”  

“The City of Everett is proud to have partnered with The Neighborhood Developers to construct a development that will boast our affordable senior housing and townhomes for first time home buyers,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “The site of St. Therese holds a special place in our community’s heart, and we proudly made the decision to repurpose this site as a place that will continue to serve the community. I am grateful for the combined efforts of the Baker-Polito Administration, The Neighborhood Developers, MassHousing, Mass Development, and East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to help the City of Everett continue our efforts in providing a home for all of our residents.”

"I approached TND many years ago about coming into Everett because I knew they would be a great fit for our community," said Senator Sal DiDomenico. "There is a real need in Everett for affordable housing - both rental and homeownership.  This is a great example of Mayor DeMaria and our federal and state partners coming together with innovative nonprofit organizations like TND and EBNHC to meet the interrelated needs of housing and health care for our residents."

“TND is grateful for being one of the first participants in The Commonwealth Builder program, which is designed to begin to remedy a history of exclusion and disinvestment by expanding homeownership opportunities in gateway communities like Everett,” said The Neighborhood Developers Director of Real Estate Development Steve Laferriere “With the six townhomes at St. Therese, we are taking a small step towards dismantling the racial wealth gap by offering families the opportunity to become homeowners. At the same time, we are also ensuring seniors can afford to age in place here. We are grateful to the Baker-Polito administration because none of this would be possible without their support and leadership.”

“MassHousing is excited to partner with The Neighborhood Developers and the City of Everett, to deliver new homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “We have the opportunity to deliver real change, at scale, in communities across Massachusetts, by confronting housing disparities in communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.”  

“The state’s shortage of housing supply was a growing concern before COVID-19, but we saw the impacts of this issue exacerbated by the pandemic – particularly for our most vulnerable residents,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “That’s why projects like this one that will provide homes for more than 80 families and seniors are timely and important, and why the Commonwealth must meet this moment by creating more rental housing units and homeownership opportunities across Massachusetts. MassDevelopment was proud to deliver a $9.1 million tax-exempt bond to help The Neighborhood Developers create 33 affordable rental units here at St. Therese, and we will continue to be a resource for building and preserving housing in the communities that need it most.” 

"I am so excited to be here today and watch the progress of a much-anticipated project,” said State Representative Joseph McGonagle. “I think this residential facility is going to be fantastic for Everett and I've already had so many residents reach out and express their enthusiasm as well. I am grateful that we can redevelop the St. Therese site as a community residence to keep the people of Everett in Everett. Many thanks to Mayor DeMaria, The Neighborhood Developers and Governor Charlie Baker for their work here today.” 

"The pandemic has further proven that overall health and well-being is inextricably tied to housing and other non-medical factors,” said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center CEO Manny Lopes. “Thanks to support from Governor Baker, The City of Everett, The Neighborhood Developers, and OppCo we're thrilled to be one step closer to bringing a comprehensive set of services to this new, innovative complex in Everett. With affordable housing and high-quality healthcare under the same roof, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, alongside our partners, looks forward to maximizing impact on older adults in the community for decades to come.”

The Baker-Polito Administration initially proposed its plan to invest a portion of Massachusetts’ federal funds in June at an event in Haverhill highlighting a CommonWealth Builder project. The Administration initially launched the CommonWealth Builder program with a $60 million investment in 2019. Learn more about the program.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Visits Homeownership Project in Everett, Highlights $1 Billion Housing Plan Using Federal Funds

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

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