HUD Archives: News Releases


HUD No. 11-09
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
For Release
Tuesday
May 3, 2011

MASSACHUSETTS HONORED WITH THREE OUT OF 14 NATIONAL AWARDS
FOR OUTSTANDING WORK IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Massachusetts housing developments among 14 model programs named nationwide

BOSTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is recognizing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the cities of Springfield and Somerville with its coveted "Doorknocker Award" for their outstanding work in producing affordable housing. From creating a stable living environment for those with disabilities to providing rental assistance to homeless veterans, each community represents a model for developing innovative housing solutions to meet their specific needs. (See below for description of Massachusetts developments honored)

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the awards to 11 local communities and three state agencies for their exceptional use of funding provided through HUD's HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The announcement of the "Doorknocker Awards" coincides with the 20th anniversary of the HOME Program, the largest federal block grant program dedicated to producing affordable housing at the state and local level. Since 1992, HOME produced more than one million units of affordable housing through the U.S.

"These Massachusetts organizations have set themselves apart on a national level, earning three out of 14 awards
for their work building better communities and creating opportunities for people most in need," said Barbara Fields,
HUD New England Regional Administrator.

HUD's HOME Program

The Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act created the HOME Program in 1992. HOME provides formula grants to States and localities that communities use-often in partnership with local nonprofit groups-to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people.

Each year, HUD allocates approximately $2 billion to more than 600 State and local participating jurisdictions to increase the stock of affordable housing and provide tenant-based rental assistance for low- and very low-income households. Since the program's inception, the HOME Program has completed more than one million units of affordable housing and provided more than 240,000 families with critically needed rental assistance. Each dollar of HOME funds leverages nearly $4 in other public and private investment and has leveraged more than $78 billion over the life of the program.

Each award-winning project demonstrates how the flexibility provided by the HOME program is used by State and
local governments to meet the specific needs of low-income families and underserved populations in their areas. These projects and programs serve as models for other jurisdictions to replicate throughout the country in four categories of innovation -producing producing sustainable housing, promoting long-term affordability, reaching underserved populations and building CHDO (non-profit) capacity.

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HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.

MASSACHUSETTS

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community Village
(New construction limited equity cooperative)

Completed in February of 2011, the Gordon H. Mansfield Community Village is a limited equity cooperative designed to serve formerly homeless veterans who have completed transitional programs and are ready to move into permanent supportive housing. The residents will not only own a cooperative share, but will also participate in the policy development, management, and maintenance of the Village.

Veteran residents will have Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to accumulate assets over time. The cooperative consists of 39 studio and one-bedroom apartments with both green and accessibility features. Located on a beautiful site near recreation and parks on the edge of downtown Pittsfield, the apartments are clustered village-style with a bus stop at the end of a drive and a Veterans Community Care Center nearby. Services provided to the veterans include health care, substance abuse aftercare, mental health counseling, and job training and placement assistance. The project has been made affordable by the elimination of permanent debt and the provision of rental assistance through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (VASH).

For more information contact:

Catherine Racer
Associate Director
Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300
Boston, MA 02114
617-573-1322
catherine.racer@state.ma.us

Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Springfield
Worthington Commons
(Acquisition and rehabilitation rental)

Worthington Commons is an acquisition and rehabilitation project of 12 masonry buildings constructed at the turn of the 20th century. The project involved moderate rehabilitation of nine buildings containing 111 units that had been foreclosed, and the production of 38 new units through the gut rehabilitation of three city-owned buildings that had been scheduled for demolition. The project focused both public and private resources to renew these buildings in the Summit Hill neighborhood, an area that had been plagued by crime and disinvestment.

Through the creative mixing of many funding sources, all 149 units are affordable to families below 60 percent of area median income, while 15 units are reserved for those below 30 percent of area median income. Eight units are accessible and three are equipped for those with hearing impairments. The developer used green rehabilitation techniques, including new windows and roofs, insulation, and high efficiency gas boilers and plumbing fixtures. The project enjoys strong property management oversight, new security features, improved grounds and sidewalk treatments, a community center, and the availability of two major bus lines to the downtown. Since its completion in 2007, the project has sparked additional private investment, reduced crime significantly, and returned abandoned properties to the tax rolls. It has been a catalyst for neighborhood change and the preservation and improvement of affordable housing for the City of Springfield.

For more information contact:

Catherine Racer
Associate Director
Massachusetts Department of
Housing & Community Development
100 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 573-1322
catherine.racer@state.ma.us

Gerry McCafferty
Director
Office of Housing City of Springfield
1600 East Columbus Ave.
1st Floor
Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 886-5014
gmccafferty@springfieldcityhall.com

City of Somerville
St. Polycarp Village Apartments
(New construction rental project)

The St. Polycarp Village Apartments are located in the Winter Hill section of the City of Somerville in a neighborhood that has a mix of rental and owner-occupied houses, and public housing to the west and south of the site. The project is completely energy efficient with such features as solar panels to generate electricity and hot water, an air filtration system, a green roof, medium density insulation, and energy efficient windows and appliances.

There was an emphasis in the design and construction of improvements to reduce energy costs. The project received a LEED Silver rating. All of the units are affordable, including six three-bedroom units and three accessible ones. The neighborhood is transit-oriented; located near green space and recreation facilities; and close to retail, grocery stores, a health center, a post office, and other services.

For more information contact:

Evelyn Persoff
Housing Grants Manager
Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development
50 Evergreen Avenue
Somerville, MA
(617) 625-6600, ext. 2585
EPersoff@somervillema.gov

 

Content Archived: May 30, 2012