Housing for Older Adults, Homeless Individuals Secured State Funding Awards in Last Fiscal Year
CEDAC recently calculated how many supportive housing – service-enriched housing – units were funded in Fiscal Year 2020. According to our data, DHCD awarded capital funding and other resources to developers that will lead to the construction of 476 new units throughout the Commonwealth. Nearly half of those units (45 percent) will be located in age-restricted developments. Nineteen percent will provide housing and services for homeless individuals and families. And almost a third of the units will serve some of the state’s most vulnerable populations: individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. All in all, the data shows that supportive housing developers, many of whom are the non-profit organizations CEDAC supports, are utilizing the many resources – including loan programs, tax credits, grants, and more – available to them to build housing and provide services that assist at-risk individuals and families.
Since 2013, when the Commonwealth began to report annually the number of supportive housing units funded, Massachusetts has produced more than 4,200 units of supportive housing. CEDAC works closely with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which funds supportive housing via multiple affordable housing funding competitions, including the Supportive Housing for Vulnerable Populations round. In this Supportive Housing round, DHCD distributes capital funds as well as special project-based operating subsidies accompanied by stipends to pay for supportive services. Along with the housing, residents can access supportive services, which may include mental health services, job training, case management, recovery support, and more. You can read about last year’s awards here.
Some of the supportive housing projects that received funding in FY20 include innovative developments in communities as varied as Everett, Worcester, and the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.
In Everett, The Neighborhood Developers (TND) is building a new five-story, 77-unit age-restricted affordable property on the grounds of the former St. Therese Parish. The development, which will include 70 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom units, will provide service-enriched housing to adults over the age of 62. East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) will lease the ground floor of the property and will offer primary care, as well as supportive services via EBNHC’ s Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). CEDAC has closed on loans of more than $3.7 million through Housing Innovations Fund (HIF), Community Based Housing (CBH), and Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund (HPSTF); all three state programs target supportive housing development. (To read a recent feature about this project in The Boston Globe, please click here).
Building Futures, Inc., a non-profit affiliated with the Worcester Housing Authority, is developing A Place to Live in conjunction with the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA). The 25-unit, 100 percent affordable modular building in Worcester’s Main South neighborhood will provide supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals. The project’s “housing first” model will include intensive supportive services available to all residents. DHCD has committed more than $1.3 million in HIF for this innovative development, and CEDAC has committed a $100,000 predevelopment loan for early-stage project expenses.
The Vietnamese American Initiative for Development, Inc. (VietAID) broke ground last month on 41 new affordable multifamily rental housing in the Bowdoin-Geneva section of Dorchester. Twelve of the units will be set aside for extremely low-income households with five reserved for formerly homeless families. Families who have experienced homelessness will have access to intensive stabilization services, with ongoing resident service coordination available to all residents. VietAID will lease the ground floor of the building to the new Dorchester Food Co-op, a welcome addition to a neighborhood with limited access to grocery stores. CEDAC has closed on $985,000 in HIF financing for this project, and previously provided VietAID with nearly $1.6 million in acquisition and predevelopment financing.
The last 12 months have demonstrated more than ever why we need safe, quality affordable housing for at-risk populations like seniors and those without secure housing. FY21 promises to be another robust year for supportive housing production, and CEDAC looks forward to working with DHCD and our non-profit partners to develop quality supportive housing across the Commonwealth.