Public funds to strengthen affordable housing in the region


Posted: 07/18/2021 00:11:45 AM

AMHERST – Area to get 88 new affordable apartments in Amherst and South Hadley, and 37 existing apartments in Holyoke will be preserved, thanks to a statewide injection of $ 139 million in funding and announced tax credits by the Baker-Polito administration last week.

“As Massachusetts continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we continue to prioritize new affordable housing development to help our most vulnerable families,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press release announcing the money.

The awards, through the Department of Housing and Community Development, along with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and grant funds, will help develop 1,526 new rental units across government, including 1,346 affordable rental units for low-income people. and very low income households.

In Amherst, the support studios at 132 Northampton Road undertaken by Valley Community Development are funded.

This project includes 28 studios, supplemented by on-site support services, with 20 apartments for people earning 60% or less of the average median income, 10 having a preference for homeless people and two having a preference for ministry clients. of Mental Health. .

Each unit will be approximately 240 square feet in size and will include a kitchenette and bathroom, with the building also including common areas and a supplier’s office.

The city has already set aside $ 700,000 for the project.

In South Hadley is the Plaza Apartments, a new construction project for families at the Woodlawn Shopping Plaza on Newton Street. Like Amherst, the town of South Hadley is supporting the project with its own funds.

When completed, Plaza Apartments will offer 60 apartments, all of which will be affordable for families earning less than 60% of the region’s median income, of which 18 are even smaller for very low income families earning less than 30% of the median income. of the region, including families emerging from homelessness.

In Holyoke, the Valley Opportunity Council is undertaking the Voces de Esperanza occupation project for individuals and families. With city and state money, the 27 units will remain affordable for individuals or households earning less than 60% of the area’s median income, with 10 units even smaller for individuals or households earning less. 30% of the area’s median income, including those transitioning from homelessness.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at [email protected]


Julio V. Miller

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