27M in incentives for 11 gateway cities in Massachusetts

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

AI generated audio version of the article

Governor Maura Healey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities Ed Augustus announced $27 million for the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP), a landmark initiative to address the housing crisis and stimulate economic growth.

The funds are earmarked to create 547 new housing units in 11 Massachusetts gateway towns, the largest HDIP allocation in the program’s history.

Governor Healey emphasized the importance of the HDIP program in her statement: “We expanded the HDIP program in our tax cut package because it has a proven track record of stimulating housing development in the Gateway Cities and reducing costs. Our Gateway Cities are vital centers for industry and culture, while being well positioned to provide the housing we need to meet demand,” said Maura Healey.

The HDIP program, initially capped at $10 million per year, has seen a substantial increase to $57 million in 2023, as part of a $1 billion tax cut package signed by Governor Healey. Going forward, the annual cap will be set at $30 million. The increase enabled the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities to fund all 13 projects submitted in this round, a significant improvement over previous years, according to a release from the Governor’s office.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll noted the immediate benefits of the increased funding. “This financial boost helps us do even more to meet our housing needs now. By approving all of these projects, we are able to have a significant impact on towns across the state as we work to make Massachusetts more affordable for everyone,” said Driscoll.

The HDIP program aims to create more moderately priced housing to support economic development, increase the diversity of the housing stock and create more vibrant neighborhoods in gateway cities.

Secretary of State Ed Augustus reaffirmed the critical role of the Governor’s Tax Relief Act in facilitating these developments. “These projects are a direct result of the Governor’s tax relief legislation. Our vacancy rate has never been lower, and these allocations will create much-needed multi-family housing throughout the state,” said Augustus, who is counting on the legislature “to pass the Affordable Housing Act this year to create much-needed housing for all income levels in the state.”

The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by local officials in the towns that will benefit from the awards. Lowell Mayor Daniel P. Rourke expressed his gratitude, saying, “I am delighted to welcome the announcement of tax credits for the development of market-rate housing through the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP). This initiative will be of great benefit to our community, particularly through the development of the Hildreth Building and Isobel Lofts.”

For his part, Lowell City Manager Thomas A. Golden, Jr. emphasized the broader impact on economic development in the city’s central business district. “Today’s announcement of the first HDIP 2024 awards marks an important milestone in the economic development of Lowell’s central business district. The HDIP program is an essential tool for cities like Lowell, as it promotes residential growth, economic development and neighborhood stabilization,” shared Mr. Golden, who was pleased that the Hildreth Building and Isobel Lofts projects will provide 76 new residential units. “This development is an exemplary model of what can be achieved through state and local partnerships, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact these developments will have on our community,” said Mr. Golden.

The 13 projects and 11 gateway cities

The $27 million awarded by the HDIP was divided among thirteen projects in different 11 Gateway Cities, each aimed at developing new housing units and revitalizing neighborhoods.

Here are the details of the awarded projects:

1. Linnell Landing – Barnstable
– Developer: Jacob Dewey of CCR Holdings
– HDPE amount: $690,000
– Total number of units: 15

2. Ringside Residences – Brockton
– Sponsor: Joseph Goncalves of New Vision Enterprises
– HDPE amount: $2,500,000
– Total number of units: 50

3. Sacred Heart Lofts – Fall River
– Sponsor: Charles Haijar of Hajjar Management Company
– HDIP grant: $2,500,000
– Total number of units: 36

4. Union Belt Company Lofts – Fall River
– Sponsor: Anthony Cordeiro of Downtown Development
– HDIP Award: $2,500,000
– Total number of units: 46

5. Franklin Block – Haverhill
– Sponsor: Jonathon Cody of Atlantic Investments
– HDIP price: $1,300,000
– Total number of units: 21

6. Wrights Block – Holyoke
– Sponsor: Bill Womeldorf of Urbanist Development
– HDPE price: 2,000,000
– Total number of units: 19

7. The JAV – Lawrence
– Sponsor: Johan Lopez of Jowamar Companies LLC
– HDPE amount: $2,200,000
– Total number of units: 24

8. Hildreth Building – Lowell
– Sponsor: David Steinberg of RCG LLC
– HDPE amount: $2,500,000
– Total number of units: 50

9. Isobel Lofts – Lowell
– Sponsor: Justin McFarlane of Nine Zero Two Development
– HDPE value: $2,000,000
– Total number of units: 26

10. Wright Building Block – Pittsfield
– Developer: Lou Allegrone’s A.C. Enterprises
– HDIP Phase 1 price: $2,581,672
– Total number of units: 21
– HDPE phase 2 price: $1,518,014
– Total number of units: 14

11. 5 Broad Street – Salem
– Sponsor: Bill Luster of Charing Cross Realty
– HDPE amount: $1,500,000
– Total number of units: 16

12. Parsons Apartments – Springfield
– Sponsor: Joyna Filippides of Davenport Advisors
– HDIP grant: $630,000
– Total number of units: 11

13. Chestnut Place Office Conversion – Worcester
– Developer: David Greaney of Synergy
– HDIP Award: $2,500,000
– Total number of units: 198

The Healey-Driscoll administration’s announcement marks a turning point in the state’s efforts to address the housing crisis in Massachusetts.

Governor Healey’s strategic expansion of the HDIP program as part of the tax cuts is a clear indication of the priority her administration places on housing development. By raising the program’s ceiling and approving all project applications, the administration is setting a precedent of vigorous state support in the fight against the housing problem facing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is also the fulfillment of one of the Healey-Driscoll duo’s campaign promises.

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