Baker-Polito Administration Advances New Affordable Housing Production Throughout Commonwealth
Press Release | February 28, 2019
WORCESTER — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, and Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan joined Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr., Senator Harriette Chandler, Representative Mary Keefe and local leaders and developers to announce affordable housing awards to support the creation of 643 new rental housing units, including 397 units of affordable housing.
The awards represent an investment by the administration through more than $45 million in direct subsidy, and the allocation of more than $22 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits. The announcement took place at the former Worcester Courthouse, a development that will benefit from state funding announced today, and will be revitalized and transformed into 117 new, mixed-income housing units.
“We will continue investing in the production and preservation of affordable housing here in Massachusetts to meet the needs of residents across the income spectrum and support the continued growth of our economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Since 2015, we’ve infused more than $1 billion in the affordable housing ecosystem, from new production to the rehabilitation of existing private and public housing stock, and we look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to pass our Housing Choice Legislation into law, which will help communities advance new housing production and facilitate long-term, forward-thinking planning.”
“It is inspiring to see the historic Worcester Courthouse receive new life with today’s awards, and our administration is pleased to support innovative and adaptive housing projects like this that transform a property to meet the needs of cities and towns across the state,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “New, affordable rental housing provides families and residents with not only a home, but with stability in their community, and a foundation from which to thrive, and we will continue to invest in affordable, quality housing options for all.”
“Our strong economy and high quality of life here in Massachusetts continues to attract new residents in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth, and it is crucial that we have a healthy supply of housing affordable to all families,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Today’s awards represent an important component of our strategy to encourage housing development in our diverse cities and towns, complementing other programs that help advance housing production - such as MassWorks Infrastructure Awards, the Housing Development Incentive Program, Open for Business, and our Housing Choice Initiative - to support smart, forward-thinking housing development.”
“When our families are stable, so are our communities. Neighborhoods with housing that is affordable to a wide range of incomes can build and preserve inclusive communities,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan. “These nine projects will bring substantial new housing to neighborhoods across Massachusetts, and we are proud to increase the number of opportunities throughout the year for projects to receive funding and tax credit allocations from the Department of Housing and Community Development. We look forward to celebrating more milestones, and welcoming residents to their new homes.”
Yesterday, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito announced the refiling of Housing Choice legislation, originally submitted to the Legislature last session to better facilitate the production of housing in every region of the state. The legislation, which complements the Governor’s Housing Choice Initiative, will deliver targeted zoning reform related to housing. The legislation lowers the voting threshold for cities and towns from a supermajority to a simple majority to adopt certain, housing related zoning changes.
“I want to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for their continued support of economic development in the City of Worcester and the revitalization of Lincoln Square,” said Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “The old courthouse is truly one of the most anticipated projects currently under construction in Worcester and I look forward to the great work Trinity is doing here. With rentals being offered at five different income levels this is truly a mixed income community that will help anchor future development of north Main Street.”
“The Worcester Courthouse Apartments project is a historic rehabilitation that will transform one of the city’s architectural gems into 47 affordable rental units as well as 70 units at workforce and market rate rents,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “We’re grateful for the continued support of the Baker-Polito Administration in making affordable housing a priority in Worcester and throughout the Commonwealth.”
“Having a place to call home should be more than just a hopeful aspiration. Rich or poor, we must ensure that everyone in the Commonwealth has a place to live. I am happy that this funding has been secured to ensure affordable housing in Worcester and Central Massachusetts,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler.
“This apartment project is going to have significant impact and create big change, not only in the southwest corner of Lincoln Square, but also on the Cultural District and the North end of Main Street,” said Representative Mary Keefe. “However, while we dream of what’s to come, I am really happy to see us look to our past to appreciate the historic significance of this building and area, and that we’re inviting the public ‘in’ to celebrate and share."
“We are thrilled to receive this award and are grateful for the support of Lieutenant Governor Polito, Senator Chandler, Representative Keefe, and the City of Worcester,” said Trinity Financial principal and co-founder Patrick Lee. “This will be an important piece of Worcester’s ongoing revitalization and will help create new mixed-income homes while bringing this historic building back to life.”
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 17,000 housing units, including 15,000 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. The Baker-Polito Administration has also advanced the development of more than 7,000 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.
Affordable Housing Awards:
Downing Square, Arlington
This 48-unit new construction project is located on two sites in Arlington. The sponsor is the non-profit Housing Corporation of Arlington. DHCD is providing federal and state low income housing tax credits and subsidy funds in support of the project and the Town of Arlington is also supporting the project with significant local funding. When completed, Downing Square will offer 48 affordable family rental units.
Cote Village, Boston
A two-phase, 76-unit new construction project located on the former Cote Ford site in Boston is sponsored by the non-profit Caribbean Integration Community Development Corporation and the Planning Office of the Archdiocese of Boston. DHCD is supporting both phases of the transit-oriented project with a blend of federal and state low income housing tax credits and subsidy funds and the City of Boston also is providing funds in support of Cote Village. When completed, the project will offer 57 affordable rental units for families as well as 19 workforce or market rate units.
Indigo Block, Boston
Indigo Block is an 80-unit new construction project located in Boston. The non-profit sponsor is Escazu Development. DHCD is supporting the project with federal and state low income housing tax credits and subsidy funds, and the City of Boston also is providing substantial support for Indigo Block. When completed, the project will offer 44 affordable family rental units as well as 36 workforce or market rate rental units on a transit-oriented site.
Michael Haynes Arms, Boston
This 55-unit new construction project located in Boston is sponsored by Cruz Development Corporation. DHCD is supporting the project with federal and state low income housing tax credits as well as subsidy funds. The City of Boston also is supporting Michael Haynes Arms with local funding. When completed, the project will offer 39 affordable rental units as well as 16 workforce or market rate rental units.
Library Commons, Holyoke
The project is a 38-unit scattered site project located in Holyoke, sponsored by the non-profit Way Finders, Inc. DHCD is supporting the project with federal and state low income housing tax credits and subsidy funds, and the City of Holyoke also is providing support to Library Commons. When completed, the project will offer 38 affordable rental units for families.
Parcels 8 and 9, Lowell
This project is a mixed-income historic rehabilitation project located in Lowell, sponsored by WinnDevelopment. DHCD is supporting the project with federal and state low income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Lowell also is providing support to Parcels 8 and 9 through local funding. When completed, the project will offer 32 affordable rental units as well as 86 workforce or market rate rental units.
571 Revere, Revere
The development is a 51-unit mixed-income new construction project located in Revere. The sponsor is the non-profit The Neighborhood Developers. DHCD is supporting the project with federal and state low income housing tax credits as well as subsidy funds. The City of Revere also is supporting the project with local funding. When completed, the project will offer 32 affordable rental units and 19 workforce rental units.
Mason Square, Springfield
Mason Square is a 60-unit project located in Springfield. The sponsor is First Resource Development. DHCD is supporting the project with federal and state low income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Springfield also is supporting the project with local funding. When completed, Mason Square will offer 60 affordable rental units for families, including several units in the historic re-use of a former fire station.
Worcester Courthouse Apartments, Worcester
The 117-unit historic rehabilitation project located in Worcester is sponsored by is Trinity Financial, Inc. DHCD is supporting the project with federal and state low income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Worcester also is supporting the project with local funding, re-zoned the site, and has helped expedite the permitting process. When completed, Worcester Courthouse Apartments will offer 50 affordable rental units for families as well as 67units at workforce or market rate rents.