Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding for Seven Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities

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Press Release

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Funding for Seven Affordable Housing Projects for Vulnerable Communities

Supportive housing provides critical services to help families, veterans, and individuals with disabilities thrive

WORCESTER — Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Senator Harriette L. Chandler, YWCA of Central Massachusetts Executive Director Linda Cavaioli, and local officials to celebrate the production and preservation of 147 units of supportive housing for vulnerable populations, including homeless families and individuals, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and individuals with disabilities.

Supportive housing provides residents with social and health services, including childcare, job training, case management, healthcare coordination and more. All 147 units are affordable to low and extremely low-income people. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has supported the preservation and production of hundreds of supportive housing units.

“Our administration firmly believes that affordable housing is fundamental to our success as a Commonwealth and have been pleased to invest over $1 billion in the affordable housing ecosystem over the last four and a half years and propose Housing Choice legislation that would significantly increase housing production throughout the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are committed to working with our partners in the legislature to give our communities the tools they need to increase housing production to meet the needs of current and future Massachusetts residents, especially the most vulnerable.”

Today’s awards will fund seven projects, supporting the preservation or production of 147 units of housing with $6 million in grant funding, $2.5 million in federal funding and state project-based housing vouchers. Housing will also provide a myriad of social services tailored to the population, including mental health support, childcare, and accessibility.

“Families and individuals deserve access to the stability that permanent housing offers, and we are pleased that this funding will also give our most vulnerable residents, including veterans and survivors of domestic violence, the supportive services they need to thrive in the face of challenges,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I’m proud of these efforts to increase the amount of affordable housing for people with the greatest need, and today’s awards are part of a commitment to ensuring Massachusetts is a place where all residents can succeed.”

“We understand the great need for more housing for extremely low-income populations. While there is no one strategy to close the gap, our funding for supportive, permanent housing, is part of the solution, and we are thrilled to support projects across Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are committed to working with communities and private-sector partners to create pathways to stability for vulnerable populations, through housing, emergency assistance, job training, and social services.”

“Today’s awards will reach families, veterans, survivors of domestic abuse, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in need of reliable, quality housing they can afford,” said Acting Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Jennifer Maddox. “Our people are our greatest asset, and we will continue to advocate for programming and resources to help residents reach their potential, ensure children have access to permanent housing, and support municipal efforts to create healthy communities.”

“Massachusetts is fortunate in that we have a strong network of non-profit organizations providing quality supportive housing to vulnerable populations throughout the Commonwealth and the kind of public/private infrastructure that helps develop these important projects,” said Roger Herzog, Executive Director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation. “The developments funded today will provide much-needed housing and services to veterans, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, formerly homeless individuals, and more.  CEDAC is honored to work with the Baker-Polito administration, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and our non-profit partners to provide the state bond funds and early stage financing that turns supportive housing projects from an idea into a reality.”

“This incredibly generous award will afford the YWCA Central Massachusetts the opportunity to increase our capacity to serve more women in more effective and efficient space that ultimately helps them achieve independence and economic self-sufficiency,” said Linda Cavaioli, Executive Director of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts.

“I want to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for their continued support for Worcester organizations like the YWCA that does invaluable work,” said Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “Congratulations to Linda Cavaioli and the entire YWCA family on this announcement.  These funds will allow the YWCA to continue and expand the vital work it does every day here in the City of Worcester.”

“Providing supportive housing options to vulnerable populations in our community is a constant priority,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “We’re excited about the YWCA’s renovation project taking place in the heart of our City and we thank the Baker Polito Administration for their continued investment in producing more supportive housing units across the Commonwealth.”

“The awards that were announced today help communities who need stable housing the most. Stable housing allows people to ground themselves, to build a life, and to grow within their communities,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler. “I want to thank my housing policy partners in the administration, in the legislature, in local government, and to thank all of the advocates and activists who fight for affordable housing every day.”

“The YWCA of Central Massachusetts continues to empower women and girls to achieve their best,” said Senator Michael O. Moore.  “The renovations made possible through this investment will increase access to many critical programs and services.  Congratulations to the entire team at the YWCA for their ongoing efforts to better the surrounding community, and to provide meaningful opportunities for our neighbors.”

“The YWCA of Central Massachusetts provides our community with valuable housing, education, and health programming,” said Representative Jim O’Day. “Worcester prides itself on investing in programs that support families and foster community, and so I am thrilled to hear of the building renovations, as they expand access to essential services for women and children.”

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 11,000 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.

Award Recipients:

123 Crawford St., Boston

This existing 24-unit Single Room Occupancy (SRO) project for formerly homeless individuals is located in the Trotter Garrison neighborhood of Roxbury. DHCD is awarding funds to the Commonwealth Land Trust to repair and upgrade the building’s envelope and major systems. Two live-in staff and case managers will provide intensive supportive services to a high need target population including individuals with major medical and/or mental health challenges.

112-116 Emerson St., Haverhill

This existing 21-unit project provides permanent, supportive sober housing for homeless elders and individuals with disabilities at three properties and is owned and operated by Emmaus, Inc. DHCD is supporting the project with MRVP vouchers with supportive service funding. These enhanced vouchers will assist Emmaus in providing robust housing supports to both CSPECH and non-CSPECH eligible residents.

Opening Doors, Lowell

Alternative House provides emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing to survivors of DV. DHCD’s capital funds will finance the construction of a new eight-unit DV shelter that will accommodate eight women and up to 14 children. Their existing shelter, an aging single-family home, will be sold and the sales proceeds will help defray the cost of the new building.

420, 423, and 445 Broadway, Lowell

This existing 29-unit project consists of three multi-family properties on Broadway in Lowell. DHCD’s funding will allow Common Ground Development Corporation, an affiliate of Community Teamwork, Inc., to undertake exterior improvements to all three buildings, and convert two standard units into accessible units for residents with mobility impairments.  

2033 Ocean St., Marshfield

Marshfield Veterans House will provide supportive housing for eight homeless veterans. With DHCD’s financial support, Neighborworks Southern Massachusetts will convert a town-owned historic property into eight studios and a small archive room for the local historical society. Father Bill’s & MainSpring will provide comprehensive supportive services to the residents.

26 Moulton St., Randolph

Father Bill’s & MainSpring developed a partnership with Envision Bank to construct 10 studio apartments for homeless veterans on a vacant parcel behind the bank. DHCD will provide state and federal funds to finance the construction. In addition to the land, the bank is providing grant funding.

One Salem Square, Worcester

The YWCA of Central Massachusetts is renovating its main building in downtown Worcester including an existing SRO program for women, 12 child care classrooms, and its health and fitness program areas. DHCD funds will allow the YWCA to renovate 41 existing SROs and add six more rooms, for a total of 47 units. The organization has undertaken a capital campaign to renovate the non-residential portions of the building.

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Housing and Community Development 

DHCD oversees funding and resources to help people in Massachusetts live affordably and safely.