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Healey administration promotes housing development incentive program for Gateway Cities

Joined by members of her administration and local leaders, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey was in Lowell Tuesday, July 2, 2024, to promote $27 million worth of tax credits being awarded to housing developments and projects across the state.
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Joined by members of her administration and local leaders, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey was in Lowell Tuesday, July 2, 2024, to promote $27 million worth of tax credits being awarded to housing developments and projects across the state.

The Healey administration has unveiled $27 million worth of new tax credits to support housing developments across the state, potentially supporting hundreds of new housing units.

Governor Maura Healey was in Lowell Tuesday to announce new Housing Development Incentive Program awards for more than a dozen developments across the Commonwealth.

According to Healey’s administration, the tax credits are designed to “unlock potential” in Gateway Cities’ housing production. Her office says the $27 million will fund 13 projects spread out amongst 11 cities, including three in Western Massachusetts.

This year’s tax credits are intended to support potentially 547 new units as the state continues to address a housing shortage.

“Each of these represents an investment in community, whether rental or homeownership - these investments represent that we are creating more places that more people will call home - for working people, for families, for seniors, and with that, enhancing the vibrancy of our great communities,” Healey said. 

The Democrat referred to housing as the “number one challenge” Massachusetts is facing, with previous estimates indicating 200,000 units will be needed to meet demand in the years ahead.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll says the tax credits both take a stab at supporting more housing while also investing in communities in the middle of their own efforts to revitalize.

“Cities like Lowell, like Salem, like Holyoke, like Pittsfield - these were drivers of regional economies, key hubs, and many of them are now revitalizing and [asking] 'how do we find that next thing that we're going to be really great at,' and it's happening across this Commonwealth and it's being driven by these public private partnerships,” the lieutenant governor said.

In the case of Springfield, an HDIP award of at least $630,000 was allotted for the Parsons Apartments on Maple Street – a development that could bring 11 units online.

North of Springfield, the Wrights Block project in Holyoke received some $2 million in tax credit awards – a development on High Street featuring 19 potential units.

In the Berkshires, the Wright Building Block project in Pittsfield was awarded credits for two separate phases – over $2.5 million for phase one and a total of 21 units, and over $1.5 million for phase two and another 14 units.

Also throughout the event Tuesday – mentions of the massive housing bond bill that is being hashed out between the state’s House and Senate. 

Both chambers passed their own version of what Healey introduced as the Affordable Homes Act last year – an initially $4 billion bond bill that would fund or support creating 40,000 homes, including 22,000 for low-income households.

The House passed its version in early June, totaling over $6 billion, while the Senate’s version, passed last week, came in around $5.4 billion.

Speaking to WAMC about the House version, 9th Hampden Representative Orlando Ramos says the City of Springfield stands to benefit greatly from the funding. That, and a number of incentives and tax credits similar to Tuesday’s announcement.

“There are incentives for historical tax credits, there's incentives for housing initiatives, so we're trying to create an easier path for developers to be able to create housing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but also create an easier path towards homeownership,” he said during a phone interview.

Speaking at a groundbreaking for affordable housing in Ludlow last week, Keith Fairey, the CEO and President of the affordable housing organization Way Finders, indicated the Pioneer Valley alone is staring down a housing supply gap that’s projected to reach 19,000 units by next year.

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