After more than a year of virtual events, Sara Barcan and I were thrilled to join Governor Baker at Father Bill’s Place in Quincy for his March 31st announcement of the 8th annual Supportive Housing for Vulnerable Populations round. Also present at the event were Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano, and other elected officials, as well as Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and our colleagues at the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Our hosts from Father Bill’s & MainSpring, John Yazwinski and his team, had ample reason to celebrate both the funding award and a year of hard work to protect the health and safety of their vulnerable shelter guests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This 8th annual Supportive Housing round will produce and preserve 112 units of supportive housing, along with 100 shelter beds, in seven projects. DHCD has awarded $10.7 million from the Commonwealth’s Housing Innovations Fund (HIF) and the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) programs, along with 57 state project-based housing vouchers. DHCD also awarded $2.6 million in federal funds from the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF).
In our capacity as the administrator of the HIF program, CEDAC works closely with DHCD on the Supportive Housing rounds, as well as DHCD’s other rental housing rounds. CEDAC also provided more than $1.1 million in early stage financing to four of the seven projects: $732,100 in predevelopment funding and $407,500 in acquisition financing.
“In 2018, our administration signed the largest affordable housing legislation in Massachusetts history, and we have worked hard to invest in the production and preservation of thousands of affordable units in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a press release. “Thanks to our partners in the Legislature and local leaders, we are ensuring that supportive housing remains a key component of our broader strategy to increase production.”
CEDAC congratulates all of the organizations that received funding awards in this round, and we look forward to working with their teams to move the loans to initial closing, the construction phase, and completion and occupancy. The four awarded projects that have also received CEDAC early stage financing include:
- Amherst Supportive Studio, Amherst – Valley Community Development Corporation (Valley CDC) will develop 28 new enhanced single-room occupancy (SRO) units. The CDC will reserve twelve units for extremely low-income individuals (those making less than 30 percent of the area median income, or AMI). The property will have an on-site Resident Services Coordinator available to all residents and will be built to achieve Passive House energy efficiency certification. CEDAC provided $295,100 in predevelopment and $407,500 in acquisition financing to Valley CDC, and the project has also received funds through a Kuehn Planning Grant. CEDAC manages this grant program, which helps non-profit organizations in Massachusetts explore the feasibility at the earliest stages of project development
- 37 Wales Street, Boston – Heading Home, Inc. will create 23 new units of permanent supportive housing in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston for formerly homeless families. All 23 units will be reserved for extremely low-income households. CEDAC provided $100,000 in predevelopment funding for this project.
- Father Bill’s Housing Resource Center, Quincy – Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) will develop a new multi-use facility in Quincy that will consist of 100 emergency shelter beds and a day program center intended to address many of the shelter guests’ needs. The day program center will include a commercial kitchen serving three meals a day, a health clinic, substantial case management office and service space, and a large-scale function room for dining and other activities. FBMS will offer on-site supportive services. Moving this shelter facility to a nearby location will allow the city of Quincy to build a new police headquarters on the former site. CEDAC provided $200,000 in predevelopment funding to this project.
- New Point Acquisitions, Salem – North Shore Community Development Coalition (NSCDC) will convert 18 existing unrestricted market units into affordable units for formerly homeless families. CEDAC committed $137,000 in predevelopment funding for this project.
The other three funded projects include:
- 6 Quint Ave, Boston – Allston-Brighton CDC will create fourteen units of permanent supportive housing for people in recovery, with one manager’s unit.
- Ashford Street, Boston – Allston-Brighton CDC will rehabilitate and preserve an existing 12-unit project for extremely low-income households.
- A Place to Live – 30 Winfield Street, Worcester – South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) will construct 17 new studio apartments for at-risk homeless individuals and one manager’s unit.
These awards demonstrate the continued dedication of the Commonwealth to provide homes for our most at-risk residents. In addition to this funding round dedicated to supportive housing, DHCD awards funding to supportive housing during multiple rental rounds each year. In FY2020, DHCD awarded capital funding and other resources to produce or preserve 476 supportive housing units across Massachusetts. Since 2013, when the Commonwealth began to report annually the number of supportive housing units funded, Massachusetts has produced or preserved more than 4,200 units.