Baker Administration Announces Housing Choice Awards & Designations

On March 31, 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $5 million in capital grants to 28 communities under the Housing Choice Initiative and presented 14 communities with Housing Choice designations. 

The Administration announced the re-designation of six Housing Choice Communities (Ayer, Burlington, Franklin, Hingham, Newton, and Wrentham), and also announced that eight new communities (Great Barrington, Holliston, Lincoln, Lynn, Maynard, Millbury, Walpole, and Wellesley) have qualified to join the program. This designation recognizes communities that have made progress toward housing development goals and the implementation of housing best practices to encourage sustainable development. The designation makes Housing Choice communities eligible for certain state grants. Today’s announcement brings the total number of current Housing Choice Communities to 78 across the Commonwealth.

The awards will provide nearly $4.3 million to 19 municipalities and over $700,000 to nine small towns across the state to support high-impact, smaller-scale local capital improvement projects that will create new housing units, undertake feasibility studies to expand affordable housing, and design and construct projects such as sidewalks, roads, storm drainage, and water/sewer infrastructure.  

Housing Choice Capital Grants

Acton - The Town of Acton will use funding toward a feasibility study and design services for the proposed project at 348-364 Main Street to examine and layout the extension of the sewer main line to the site of Acton Housing Authority senior, rental, affordable housing and construction of sewer and water connections for the proposed Residences at Kelley’s Corner. 

Amherst - The Town of Amherst will use funding to construct a fully accessible 8-10' wide multi-use path along Mill Lane from Route 116 to the recently renovated Groff Park.   

Andover - The Town of Andover will use funds to support their Downtown and Municipal Connectivity Project that will provide safe, sustainable and improved connections between an existing and a future affordable housing development.   

Ayer - The Town of Ayer will use funding for an engineering survey/design plan, and cost estimate/schedule for a 1,000 linear ft. section of Park Street, the construction of an ADA-compliant sidewalk system, introduction of traffic-calming on-street parking, and re-location of obstructive public utility poles. 

Chelsea - The City of Chelsea will use funding for a proposed capital project focused on pedestrian enhancements along Orange Street, directly adjacent to a new, neighborhood scale housing opportunity on two City owned parcels and to an existing Chelsea Housing Authority complex and other dense, residential dwellings.  

Easton - The Town of Easton will direct funding toward complete streets improvements (pedestrian, bicycle, & transit accommodations), intersection upgrades, replacement of 3 culverts, & new storm water infrastructure for approximately 1.3 miles of Foundry Street. 

Franklin - The Town of Franklin will use funding for engineering services related to the evaluation and design of a new booster pumping station and water main extension, and the removal of an outdated water pumping station.   

Lawrence - The City of Lawrence will use funding to modernize and enhance the security systems and cameras at the Lawrence Housing Authority's exterior and perimeter identified as "hot spots" for crime and the spread of COVID-19.   

Littleton - The Town of Littleton will use funding to extend municipal infrastructure to connect to Hager Homestead, a new multi-family senior housing development that includes both market rate and affordable units.   

Medfield - The Town of Medfield will direct funding toward engineering and design of intersection improvements at the Route 27 (North Meadows Road) and West Street intersection. 

Nantucket - The Town of Nantucket will use funding to support the proposed Waitt Drive roadway connector serving approximately 10 new parcels and a 64-unit affordable housing complex.  

Newburyport - As part of the redevelopment of the Brown School, the City of Newburyport will use funding for the removal and replacement of the boiler system as well as toward renovations to other building systems necessary to make adaptive, reuse of the building for housing units and city services.  

Northampton - The City of Northampton will use funding for the engineering, pre-construction, and infrastructure necessary to develop 25 affordable housing units at two City sites at the former Northampton State Hospital.   

Quincy - The City of Quincy has designated funds to support portions of the design and engineering services for the planned Father Bill's & MainSpring Housing Resource Center, a new model of housing and services.  

Salem - The City of Salem will direct funding toward construction services to replace 1,400 feet of a 100-year-old water main below Bridge Street between Boston Street and Flint Street.  

Salisbury - The Town of Salisbury will use grant funds for the Forest Road residential neighborhood infrastructure project to design, permit, and begin construction of 4,200 linear feet of proposed roadway and sidewalk improvements. 

Somerville - The City of Somerville will use funds for the Gilman Square Streetscape & Intersection project to re-align the high-speed, uncontrolled intersection of Medford and Pearl Street adjacent to the new MBTA Green Line station.   

Taunton - The City of Taunton will direct funds toward the reconstruction of 2,500 linear feet of concrete sidewalks along both sides of Weir Street in the city’s downtown.  

Tewksbury - The Town of Tewskbury will use funding to construct sidewalks along Main Street from Colonial Drive to Victor Drive servicing the 192-unit Balsam Place rental project completed in 2018 in addition to 109 40B units at Orchard Street, Fahey Place and Village Green.