Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, and Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox joined Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, Senator Adam Hinds, Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, and other local leaders to announce new funding to address aging housing in cities across the Commonwealth. With $2.15 million, nine communities will rehabilitate 75 housing units and make them available to low and middle-income households through the new Gateways Housing Rehabilitation Program. Pittsfield will receive $275,000 to address eight properties.
“The Gateways Housing Rehabilitation Program is the result of the collaboration between our administration and the Legislature to pass the state’s largest housing bond bill in 2018, making critical resources available to communities like Pittsfield,” said Governor Baker. “While housing is a challenge across Massachusetts, it looks different in each region, and this new funding is responsive to local needs around new housing production and preserving strong neighborhoods.”
“Our administration recognizes that the Commonwealth is only as strong as its diverse cities and towns, and we are committed to investing in healthy neighborhoods and vibrant communities in every region,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Housing that is stable and affordable to a range of incomes is central to building great communities, and today’s investments will put dozens of housing units back to good use as homes for low and middle-income individuals, including many seniors.”
The Gateways Housing Rehabilitation Program (GHRP) is a new fund available for eligible communities to address troubled properties in need of rehabilitation, a priority for cities and towns with an older housing stock. It was created as a result of the An Act Financing the Production and Preservation of Housing for Low and Moderate Income Residents (H.4536), the largest housing bond bill in state history, which Governor Baker signed in 2018.
DHCD identified a total of 31 communities, including the Commonwealth’s 26 Gateway Cities, as eligible for this competitively awarded funding. New funding enables communities to leverage their existing housing rehabilitation programs. Many cities use Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to fund local rehabilitation loan programs, and the GHRP will enable cities to augment those efforts and expand to new types of properties, depending on the city’s current program.
“Whether we are celebrating new assets like the Berkshire Innovation Center, or investing in the rehabilitation of aging housing units, our administration is committed to supporting the economic growth of this region and the success of its residents,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Kennealy. “Every unit of housing preserved through today’s funding is a step towards solving the statewide crisis, and our Housing Choice legislation is one more way we can give our local partners the tools they need to produce more housing.”
“Today’s awards exemplify how our department can help communities amplify local programs that work. All of today’s awardees have targeted properties, and their offices are ready to get projects going, quickly,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “Housing rehabilitation funds directly benefit entire neighborhoods, improve the physical and mental health of residents, and most importantly, can keep people in their homes. We are happy to work with today’s awardees, and appreciate our partners in the legislature for making this program a priority.”
"As we continue to build a stronger Pittsfield, we remain firmly committed to stabilizing homes throughout our city’s neighborhoods," said Mayor Linda Tyer. "We recognize that extensive rehabilitation projects can be cost-prohibitive for many in our community. Thanks to this significant funding through the Gateways Housing Rehabilitation Program, we have another resource to support this crucial work. Eight properties in the City of Pittsfield will be able to undergo critical and transformational repairs, enhancing the quality of life for the residents and surrounding neighborhoods.”
“We need to prioritize the accessibility of affordable housing,” said Senator Adam Hinds. “Investments such as these in Pittsfield will go a long way in improving the aesthetics and availability of housing in the city for those that are most in need.”
"Addressing the aging housing stock in our neighborhoods has been a longstanding priority for the City as it impacts both the quality of life of our residents and the ability to attract fresh young talent for our businesses," said Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier. "I'm pleased that the Commonwealth is offering this additional tool to help the city and our residents."
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 $1.1 billion in affordable housing, resulting in the production and preservation of more than 18,000 housing units, including 16,000 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, which included more than $600 million to address capital needs in our state-aided public housing portfolio. DHCD works closely with quasi-public agencies, including MassHousing, MHP, and CEDAC, to preserve existing affordable housing and secure long-term affordability extensions. The administration has also advanced the development of more than 14,000 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.
Gateways Housing Rehabilitation Program Awards: