The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Department
State House Boston, MA 02133
(617) 725-4000



June 4, 2004

Shawn Feddeman
Sarah D'Souza
(617) 725-4025
Phil Hailer (OCD)
(617) 573-1104

Awards create and preserve 1,058 homes and emphasize smart growth

LOWELL – Emphasizing the importance of smart growth when building new housing in Massachusetts, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey today announced that $62.4 million in state resources will be used to create and preserve 1,058 rental homes in 14 cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

“Many of these grants and low-interest loans will be used to finance new housing for low- and moderate-income families in areas across the state where there is supportive infrastructure and access to various modes of public transportation,” said Healey.  “This type of smart growth development will create many new housing opportunities and bolster the economy by creating jobs while preserving precious natural resources and valuable open space.”

Approximately $42 million of the funds announced will be generated through private investment in exchange for 10 years of state-administered federal low-income housing tax credits, and an additional $1.1 million will be leveraged through the similar sale of state issued tax credits.

The remaining $19.3 million will be awarded from the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF), Facilities Consolidation Fund (FCF), HOME program and the Housing Innovations Fund (HIF) as well as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is administered by DHCD and MassHousing. Each of the programs is designed to serve developers who produce housing for income-eligible seniors, families, individuals and special needs residents across the state.

In addition to the building at 767 Merrimack Street, which will be renovated for six low- and moderate-income families utilizing $249,222 of those funds, Healey also announced that two other projects in Lowell will receive $2.35 million.  The awards will be used to preserve the affordability of six rental apartments in a Pawtucket Boulevard building, and to transform a vacant downtown Middlesex Street building into a 90-bed and 12 single-occupancy room transitional facility for the city’s homeless.

“Smart growth development is about building where it makes the most sense, namely around central business districts or traditional city or town centers, near transit stations, or in areas that have been previously developed for commercial, industrial or institutional uses,” said Douglas I. Foy, Commonwealth Development Secretary. “Today’s awards are significant because we are not only adding to the state’s overall housing supply, but we are offering more than 942 of these 1,058 units at affordable rents and almost all of them will be constructed following smart growth principles.”

In addition to the City of Lowell, projects will be funded in the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Easthampton, Gloucester, Haverhill, Holyoke, New Bedford, Springfield, Westfield and Worcester as well as the towns of Ashfield and Westport.