CEDAC staff attended an event on May 7th at the Worcester YWCA, where Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced that the Baker-Polito Administration is awarding funding for the production and preservation of 147 new units of supportive housing in communities across Massachusetts. Lt. Governor Polito was joined by State Senators Harriette Chandler and Michael O. Moore, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Kate Racer and Bronia Clifton of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and representatives of several non-profit partners, including YWCA of Central Massachusetts Executive Director Linda Cavaioli. This is the sixth annual funding round devoted to supportive housing projects, with awards of capital, operating subsidy, and service funding. DHCD awarded $8.5 million of capital funding, including $2.5 million of federal National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) resources, as well as project-based MRVPs with supportive service stipends.
CEDAC works with DHCD to manage multiple state housing bond fund programs, including the Housing Innovations Fund (HIF), the Facilities Consolidation Fund (FCF), and the Community Based Housing Program (CBH), and provides key underwriting and loan management services for this competitive funding process and subsequent loan closings. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made a strong commitment to producing and preserving supportive housing units, which offer both housing and services to vulnerable populations.
Seven projects that will create or preserve 147 units of supportive housing received funding awards. These projects will serve a range of populations including veterans, elders, persons with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence (DV), and persons who have experienced homelessness. Funded projects are located in Boston, Haverhill, Lowell, Marshfield, Randolph, and Worcester.
The location of this event was perfect, as the Worcester YWCA is planning a major $24 million renovation to their 50+ year old facility, including both the 45 single room occupancy housing units and the early education and out-of-school-time programs. This is a unique project where affordable housing and child care are co-located in one facility, and both CEDAC and our affiliate the Children’s Investment Fund have actively assisted the project with training and technical assistance, as well as a predevelopment loan. The staff leadership of the YWCA participated in the Fund’s Building Stronger Centers training several years ago. CEDAC and CIF have structured a participation in the predevelopment loan to the project.
Also notable is a landmark community benefits agreement that the YWCA has created for the project with its general contractor, Consigli Construction. The benefits agreement, which is the first in Worcester history, provides for a 100% women-led construction management team, 100% living wage jobs for construction workers with benefits, and diversity guidelines for the construction workforce including apprentices.
You can read more about each of the individual projects, and the organizations building them, below, or in the official press release:
123 Crawford Street, Boston
This is an existing Single Room Occupancy (SRO) project currently serving 17 formerly homeless individuals. The Commonwealth Land Trust is expanding the program to serve 22 formerly homeless individuals with 2 live-in staff and case managers who will provide intensive supportive services to a high-need target population, including individuals with major medical and/or mental health challenges.
112-116 Emerson Street, Haverhill
Emmaus, Inc. owns and operates this existing twenty-one unit project providing permanent, supportive sober housing for homeless elders and individuals with disabilities at three properties. DHCD is supporting the project with MRVP vouchers with supportive service funding. These enhanced vouchers will assist Emmaus in providing affordable independent rental housing with robust supportive services to both Community Support Program for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness (CSPECH) and non-CSPECH eligible residents.
Opening Doors, Lowell
Alternative House provides emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing to survivors of DV. The Opening Doors project involves the new construction of an eight bedroom residential shelter for survivors of domestic violence. The new shelter will offer eight bedrooms on two floors and will accommodate eight women and up to fourteen children. The 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 twenty-nine unit project consists of three multi-family properties on Broadway in Lowell. Common Ground Development Corporation, an affiliate of Community Teamwork, Inc., will undertake exterior improvements to all three buildings, and convert two standard units into accessible units for residents with mobility impairments.
2033 Ocean Street, Marshfield
Marshfield Veterans House will provide supportive housing for eight homeless veterans. NeighborWorks Southern Massachusetts will convert a vacant town-owned historic property into eight studio units of permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless individuals, with a preference for veterans. The project also includes plans for a small archive room for the local historical society. Father Bill’s & MainSpring will provide comprehensive supportive services to the residents.
26 Moulton Street, Randolph
Father Bill’s & MainSpring developed a partnership with Envision Bank to construct ten studio apartments for homeless veterans on a vacant parcel behind the bank. FBMS proposes to develop ten units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals, with a preference for veterans, on this vacant lot in downtown Randolph. The building will also include staff office space.
One Salem Square, Worcester
The YWCA of Central Massachusetts is renovating its headquarters in downtown Worcester including an existing SRO program for women, twelve child care classrooms, and its health and fitness program areas. DHCD funds will allow the YWCA to renovate forty-one existing SROs and add six more rooms, for a total of 47 units. This is a unique project that will co-locate affordable housing and child care services, both of which include CEDAC financing.