AMHERST—Thursday, October 23, 2014—Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein today announced over $10 million in affordable housing resources and tax credits for projects in three communities across the state, building on the Patrick Administration’s commitment to improving housing infrastructure to support growth and opportunity throughout the Commonwealth.
“The Patrick Administration has taken a comprehensive approach to housing in the Commonwealth that prioritizes permanent solutions that lead to stable, appropriate housing,” said Undersecretary Gornstein. “By committing to expanding and improving affordable housing stock in Massachusetts, we are reducing homelessness and creating new opportunities for families.”
The funding was announced at the Rolling Green Apartments complex in Amherst where there is an existing 204 units of market rate and affordable apartments. The town of Amherst is supporting the project with a significant investment from the Community Preservation Act to maintain the existing affordable housing. The new property owner, Beacon Communities will commit to offering 41 affordable rental units over time. DHCD is providing state low-income housing tax credits in support of Rolling Green.
The $10 million investment in the three projects announced today includes more than $1.7 million in federal low-income housing tax credits, $4.2 million in state low-income housing tax credits and $5 million in state and federal housing program subsidies.
Of the 348 units preserved or created, 163 will be affordable to low- and moderate-income individuals and households, with 27 units reserved for extremely low-income families, including those making the transition from homelessness.
"I am happy to express my appreciation to the Patrick Administration and Beacon Communities for making the preservation of these affordable housing units possible," said State Senator Stan Rosenberg.
“I am very grateful for this grant from the Commonwealth. Amherst could not afford to lose these affordable units,” said State Representative Ellen Story. Our partnership with the Governor, and our town’s strong commitment to the Community Preservation Act are what have saved this housing for the people who live there.”
"These funds will go a long way in ensuring our neighbors have access to safe, affordable housing," said Amherst Town Manager John P. Musante. "I thank Governor Patrick and our legislators for this important investment."
Since 2007, Governor Deval Patrick has worked with the Legislature and Congress to direct over $1 billion in federal and state tax credits and state housing program subsidies to projects that improve the state's affordable housing, create jobs and build stronger communities. These investments have generated more than 23,000 jobs and 20,000 housing units; 16,000 of which are affordable.
In November 2012, Governor Patrick announced a goal of creating 10,000 multi-family units of housing per year, the first production goal of this kind set by any state in the country. Increasing opportunities housing for families and individuals is part of the Patrick Administration’s comprehensive plan for improving housing at all levels. Along with creating new housing, the Administration has made significant investments in the Commonwealth’s public housing stock, by preserving and improving the 46,000 housing units in the system through increased capital funding, increased operating subsidies, and changes in management of those resources.
The following projects were announced today:
Harrison Tower in Boston is an affordable housing preservation project for families located between the South End and Roxbury, near Boston Medical Center. Trinity Financial is the developer of this project, which shares a site with another Trinity project, Northampton Tower, currently undergoing rehabilitation. DHCD is investing tax credits and subsidy funds in the Harrison Tower project; the city of Boston also is investing significantly in the project. When rehabilitation is complete, Harrison Tower will feature 102 family rental units in a prime transit-oriented location just off Massachusetts Avenue.
Rolling Green in Amherst is an existing 204-unit project that currently features both market rate and affordable rental units. Beacon Communities is purchasing the property from Equity Properties, one of the largest owners of affordable multifamily projects in the country. As part of the sale, Beacon will commit to offering 41 affordable rental units over time. The town of Amherst -- eager to preserve affordable units in a strong rental market with high demand -- is supporting the project with a significant investment of Community Preservation Act funds. DHCD is providing state low-income housing tax credits in support of Rolling Green.
Bixby Road in Spencer will be a new construction project developed by South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC). Permitted under Chapter 40B, the completed project will offer 42 units of family housing, including 11 units reserved for families earning less than 30 percent of Area Median Income. SMOC will construct the units in eleven buildings on a wooded suburban site.