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On Wednesday, Governor Baker and Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay were in Chelsea to launch an innovative new housing program and award its first two grants totaling $600,000. The Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities program invites local housing authorities with state public housing units to partner with a private developer to pursue a mixed-income redevelopment of that housing.

“Our administration’s Open for Business initiative is rethinking state landholdings across Massachusetts, creating new opportunities for housing and economic development on underutilized state-owned parcels. Through our new Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities, we will give local public housing authorities the tools to act in a similar manner,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These planning grants will allow Chelsea and Somerville to advance public-private partnerships that will substantially improve the quality of life for residents of public housing communities, while increasing the construction of private rental housing.”

Under the Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities, local housing authorities will enter into development partnerships with outside housing developers, who will completely redevelop the properties. In return for the modernization of the local state-aided public housing stock, including a full one-to-one replacement of current subsidized units, the housing authorities’ development partners will construct additional new market-rate and workforce housing units.

The two redevelopment and modernization projects, which each received a $300,000 grant, will result in the replacement and preservation of a total of 312 state-aided public housing units, and the development of an additional 534 market-rate and workforce housing units.

“By empowering local housing authorities to think creatively and entrepreneurially about their own real estate holdings, we are addressing deferred capital needs in state-aided public housing, leveraging private funds, and accelerating new housing production,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay. “We commend the Cities of Chelsea and Somerville for their leadership, and we look forward to supporting public-private partnerships in additional communities.”

The Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities reflects the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing commitment to substantially invest in housing across the Commonwealth. In May, the Administration unveiled a 5-year capital budget plan that dedicates a $1.1 billion to increasing housing production and preservation, an 18 percent funding increase for mixed-income housing production, and affordable housing preservation. In May, the Administration and MassHousing committed $100 million, to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units. And in August, the Administration awarded roughly $90 million in tax credits and housing subsidies, to support the development and preservation of 1,334 affordable housing units.

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