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MetroWest Communities to Receive Funding for Housing Projects

August 18, 2009

August 18, 2009

Holliston’s Cutler Heights Development, along with seven other affordable housing projects stalled due to the lack of equity available in the low-income housing tax credit market, will receive funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to fill the gaps in tax credit projects that were unable to raise sufficient equity to finance substantial project development costs.  

Cutler Heights is a town-supported family development with 30 units of affordable housing, including units for residents with disabilities.  The Holliston Community Preservation Committee is providing $909,600 of funding, and the Holliston Housing Authority, a member of the development team, is providing the land through a land swap with the town.  The project is expected to generate 46 jobs.

“I’m glad to see this project come closer to fruition,” stated Senator Karen Spilka.  “Cutler Heights is located close to public transportation, making it an ideal spot for working families to settle.”

“It’s a pleasure to see the state support Cutler Heights and the local officials who have worked for years to make this project, and more affordable housing, a reality. It is especially difficult for young families to afford housing in this area so these units are going to fill a real need.”

In addition, Framingham’s Shillman House will receive similar funds from the ARRA.  

The Edmonds Road project will consist of 150 total units of housing for senior individuals and couples.  Community space within the building will include a computer center, a staffed fitness center, and a wellness center.  Extensive support services will be available to residents who need such help.  The project also will feature elements of green design, including water conservation measures and a photovoltaic system.  The project is expected to generate approximately 390 jobs.

“This project incorporates so many wonderful elements – green technology, affordable housing, and an emphasis on access to technology and wellness for our seniors,” stated Senator Spilka.  “I am thrilled that the state was able to leverage our federal stimulus funding to see this worthwhile project through to completion.”

“I am excited about the economic opportunities this housing development represents,” said Representative Tom Sannicandro. “As we see more and more stimulus projects get off the ground, bold community investments such as these will go a long way in creating new jobs and spurring economic revitalization.”

“It is great to see this project move forward,” said Representative Pam Richardson.  “Not only will it create construction jobs while providing much needed affordable housing for seniors, it will also motivate investment in other properties located in the Nobscot neighborhood: an area the town is trying to revitalize.”  

The funds are issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), which is implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). TCAP awards are competitively determined with eligible applicants, as defined by HUD, being projects that have been awarded tax credits in 2007 or 2008 that have been delayed over time due to equity market conditions. 

Readiness to get shovels in the ground was a top consideration for the awards. Housing development projects had to have all financing secured, have the construction permits in place, be able to close on the financing within 120 days and start construction 45 days after closing. 

Last week, Massachusetts was ranked fourth in the nation in terms of spending federal stimulus funds, having used about $1.5 billion of the $3.3 billion awarded to Massachusetts.

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