Much of the Commonwealth’s stock of affordable housing units was built in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980’s. The low-income use restrictions on these projects now face elimination as owners pay off their subsidized mortgages, or opt out of their existing Section 8 rental subsidy contracts. To preserve these units requires a combination of resident and community initiative, public and private investment, and technical expertise.
We work with non-profit affordable housing developers to help preserve those units, which are the homes to thousands of families and individuals across the state. We work with agencies at the local, state, and federal level to monitor at-risk units, co-manage the Massachusetts Preservation Loan Fund, and work with developers to maintain affordability in buildings from Boston to Springfield. Given the high costs of new production, preventing the loss of existing affordable housing is a high priority for CEDAC.
CEDAC maintains a database of over 130,000 housing units in over 1,500 projects located throughout the state. These properties are privately owned but were produced using state and/or federal housing resources. Most funding programs required that owners commit to maintaining the affordability of these properties for a defined period of time – typically 20 to 40 years. CEDAC uses this database of affordable housing projects to identify when specific projects are eligible to end affordability restrictions and convert to market rate housing. Periodically CEDAC posts summary reports on the affordable housing stock.
On November 23, 2009, the Governor signed Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40T – An Act Preserving Publicly Assisted Affordable Housing. This landmark legislation aims to help preserve existing privately-owned affordable housing in Massachusetts. The legislation establishes notification provisions for tenants, a right of first refusal for DHCD or its designee to purchase publicly assisted housing, and modest tenant protections for projects with affordability restrictions that terminate.
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