Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday highlighted the recent 2020 Affordable Rental Housing Awards for the development of affordable housing, with a project on Chestnut Street getting one award.
The 2020 Affordable Rental Housing Awards will result in the production or preservation of more than 2,400 housing units, including 2,166 affordable rental units in communities across the Commonwealth. Through this round of awards, the Baker-Polito Administration has provided more than $105.7 million in direct funding and allocated $53 million in state and federal tax credits to 28 projects in 19 communities.
“Our administration has made housing a priority, including injecting $1.1 billion into the affordable housing ecosystem, filing zoning reform legislation, and signing the largest Housing Bond Bill in our state’s history,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Keeping families stable and increasing the supply of affordable housing in Massachusetts is vital for our future and I am pleased to celebrate this most recent round of housing development awards and the new homes they will provide for residents.”
One of the key projects awarded was 181 Chestnut, an existing market-rate project in Chelsea that will be converted to mixed-income rental housing. The sponsor is the non-profit The Neighborhood Developers (TND). The sponsor will acquire the 32-unit project from a private owner and, over time, convert it into a mixed-income property, with 10 market rate units and 22 units affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI. Eight of the 22 units will be further restricted for extremely low-income households earning less than 30% of AMI. DHCD will support 181 Chestnut with subsidy funds, and the City of Chelsea will also provide local funds.
The $53 million allocation of state and federal tax credits will create approximately $370 million in equity for project sponsors. This award round includes eight projects that will build new affordable housing for seniors, five adaptive reuse projects that will turn historic buildings into new housing, and six projects that will preserve existing affordable housing and ensure communities maintain affordability. New affordable housing will be created in every region of the state, and more than 20% of the total units will be affordable to extremely low-income households.
“It is clear that safe and stable housing is critical for economic advancement, public health, and preventing virus spread, and we remain committed to making investments and keeping construction projects on track,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are pleased that construction has remained an essential business as we work to expand housing at all income levels in every part of Massachusetts.”
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) supports the development of affordable housing through multiple funding rounds throughout the year. Last spring, DHCD moved forward on $16 million in funding to support nine permanent supportive housing developments for vulnerable populations. Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, DHCD has continued to work with affordable housing developers to ensure a strong pipeline of new construction and preservation projects.