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Photo by Paula Muller / Lynn Item

Photo by Paula Muller / Lynn Item

In a span of five days, Governor Baker made two major announcements concerning housing in the Commonwealth, one pertaining to rental opportunities for working families, and the other in regards to the administration’s capital budget investment in workforce and affordable housing.

Program Aims to Increase Rental Housing Opportunities for Households Earning 61% to 120% of Area Median Income

A new $100 million MassHousing fund will increase rental housing opportunities for households earning 61% to 120% of area median income (AMI) who may have incomes too high for subsidized housing but are priced out of affordable market rents as housing costs in Massachusetts continue to rise.

“Making more affordable housing options available to working Massachusetts families deterred by rising rent expenses is essential to economic growth and development in communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “These working middle-income families are the foundation of our economy and talented workforce, and the creation of this $100 million fund by MassHousing will advance opportunities for them to thrive and prosper.”

Working cooperatively with the Baker-Polito Administration, MassHousing is committing $100 million in new resources designated for the creation of workforce housing throughout the Commonwealth, in addition to their support for resources serving very low and low-income households.

“MassHousing recognizes that many middle-income households are struggling with housing costs and the Agency felt it was important to create this fund for workforce housing,’’ said MassHousing Executive Director Timothy C. Sullivan. “We are committed to working with Governor Baker to increase affordable housing opportunities for low-, moderate-, and middle-income residents of the Commonwealth.’’

Governor Baker made the announcement in Lynn, where the Gateway Residences on Washington will be the first housing development to benefit from the fund. As reported by the Lynn Itemthe vacant 2.5-acre parcel will become a 71-unit mixed-income housing complex on lower Washington Street and receive financing for 10 units, reserved as workforce housing – tenants who are overqualified for affordable housing yet can’t afford market rate dwellings.

Upcoming capital budget includes 18% increase for housing opportunities for mixed incomes, homeless and middle-income families, individuals with disabilities, seniors

During the Urban Land Institute’s Housing Opportunity 2016 Conference, a gathering of national housing development and preservation leaders, Governor Baker announced that the Baker-Polito Administration’s upcoming five-year capital budget will devote $1.1 billion to affordable and workforce housing development and preservation. The funding will maintain support for existing programs for high-needs populations, increase support for local public housing communities and finance new initiatives to preserve at-risk affordable housing and boost mixed-income housing production across Massachusetts.

“Our capital plan undertakes a significant effort to preserve thousands of affordable housing units and boost the production of new affordable units that will provide housing security for our state’s most vulnerable residents, including homeless families,” said Governor Baker. 

Investments in public and affordable housing will be up 8% in Fiscal Year 2017 and 18% over the course of the plan. These investments support local housing authorities that serve over 80,000 residents, spur private construction of affordable and workforce housing, and initiate several new programs that will preserve or create approximately 5,000 affordable units over the course of the plan.

“By strategically targeting resources through the Administration’s capital investment plan, we will be able to maintain and modernize existing housing and develop new affordable and workforce units,” said Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Kristen Lepore. “This is a great example of leveraging our resources to support low and middle income families across the Commonwealth.”

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