Baker Administration Awards $5 Million in Housing Choice Grants

On January 8, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $5 million in capital grants to 30 communities under the Housing Choice Initiative. The Housing Choice Community Capital Grant Program funds infrastructure improvements in those communities that have shown commitment to advancing sustainable housing production. The Housing Choice Initiative also set aside funding for a competitive Small Town Capital Grant Program exclusively for towns with populations under 7,000.

The awards will provide $4.1 million to 20 municipalities and $900,000 to 10 small towns across the state to support high-impact, smaller-scale local capital improvement projects, including feasibility studies to plan medium- and long-term development, ADA accessibility improvements for town facilities, sewer capacity expansions, and other projects to enhance quality-of-life for residents.

For the Governor's Press Release on the awards, please click here

Capital Grant Awards
Billerica, $200,000
The Town of Billerica will undertake the design and construction of new accessible concrete sidewalks along Boston Road from Lowell Street to Alpine Street, connecting 179-units of housing to retail buildings and connecting to existing pedestrian pathways to the North Billerica Commuter Rail Station.

Boston, $250,000
Boston will install new seating, lighting, vegetation, and granite curbing along the Jackson Square Partners (JSP) Greenway, a pedestrian pathway connecting Amory Avenue to Centre Street.  The JSP Greenway will enhance and connect three housing development projects: 75 Amory Avenue, 25 Amory Street, and 250 Centre Street. These three projects represent more than 190 housing-units, with affordable, middle-income, and market-rate tiers.
Bridgewater, $225,000
This award will enable the completion of Curve Street water line, enabling the addition of 150 homes at the Duxburrow Estates development. This key infrastructure improvement provides this new mixed income neighborhood with water as well as 14 existing homes on Curve street currently served by wells. 
Brockton, $229,000
Brockton will add ADA-compliant pedestrian infrastructure to connect the Campello neighborhood and several proposed development sites, through Keith Park, to the Campello MBTA Commuter Rail Station.  These “first mile/last mile” connections are crucial to enable more housing production near transit.  This Gateway City leads in best practices related to housing production, including 40R districts, Urban Renewal and HDIP. 
Canton, $150,000
Canton will use award funds to undertake preliminary engineering design for the reconstruction part of Neponset Street from Washington Street through Chapman Street, including the Walpole and Neponset Street intersection. These infrastructure improvements will directly support the development of the Paul Revere Heritage Site, a planned 272-unit multi-family transit-oriented development project.
Dracut, $200,000
The Town will preserve an historic schoolhouse by converting it to 9 units of affordable housing with a preference for veterans. This award will fund environmental remediation, engineering, architecture and other upfront eligible costs for the conversion of the Dracut Centre School.  This project recently received state-support through the Community Scale Housing Initiative.
Everett, $250,000
Everett will fund design and engineering costs associated with the "St. Therese" affordable housing redevelopment sponsored by The Neighborhood Developers, Inc. (TND). St. Therese will create 77-units of affordable housing, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to promote aging-in-community, and build six townhouses for middle-income families for a total of 83 affordable-units.  
Foxborough, $247,000
Foxborough will fund the design of a sewer extension from the future site of 250 new housing units on 16 acres owned by the Foxborough Housing Authority (FHA) at the corner of Walnut Street and Route 140 to the existing sewer main.  Funding will also support the planning and design of transportation improvements at the intersection of Commercial Street (Route 140) at Walnut Street.
Haverhill, $250,000
This award will support the conversion of an unutilized church into a 10-unit affordable homeownership development. The development will create affordable homeownership opportunities through a community-based land trust, with ownership possible for residents at 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). Four new townhouses will be built along 430-432 Washington Street and another six units along Gilbert Avenue.
Hingham, $140,000
This award will enable Hingham to create two units of affordable family housing near transit and commercial activities.  The Town will renovate two 3-bedroom homes recently purchased by the Town’s Affordable Housing Trust and connect the units to public sewer.
Lowell, $225,000
Lowell will undertake a city-wide comprehensive parking study to address recent development, including new housing, UMass Lowell facilities and employment in downtown. The study will focus on solutions for the downtown area, as well as surrounding neighborhoods and the entire city, and include rigorous community/stakeholder input and analysis.
Malden, $225,438
Malden will implement Complete Streets roadway improvements on Dartmouth Street, near the MBTA commuter rail station to increase multi-modal access in the downtown area which has seen the construction of more than 1,000 units of housing in the past five years. The work, part of a five-year Capital Improvement Plan, includes adjustment of utility structures, removing/resetting granite curb, reconstruction of cement concrete sidewalks, driveways, wheelchair ramps and thermoplastic line striping.
Mansfield, $236,880
Mansfield will make improvements to a multipurpose trail from Samoset Avenue along a portion of North Main Street to Old Colony Way, ending at Thomas Street and the pedestrian bridge over Route 106, providing access between new housing and commercial stores to the MBTA commuter rail station.
Medway, $40,000
This award will fund engineering, survey and design work of 2,400 feet of new sidewalk on West Street to provide a walkable connection from the Glen Brook Way development to commercial areas in Medway and Bellingham. Glen Brook Way is the site of an approved Chapter 40B housing development, which will provide 48 rental apartments and 44-units of age-restricted housing. The work includes traffic reconfiguration, new sidewalks, drainage, and crosswalks. 
Methuen, $168,397
Methuen will fund engineering, survey, and design work to upgrade two intersections to conform to ADA/AAB standards in Gaunt Square, a part of the city’s downtown. The project will also reconstruct existing non-compliant sidewalks and wheelchair ramps, construct new ADA/AAB compliant wheelchair ramps and crosswalks where required and install accessible pedestrian traffic signals and detectors with audible tones and/or vibrating surfaces. The project area is near recently completed or planned housing and commercial development. 
Newton, $200,000
Newton will undertake a pre-development feasibility analysis for conversion of the Newton Armory into affordable housing.  This will support the Open for Business transition from state to city ownership.  The consultant team will work with the Planning Department to define project parameters such as costs, historic preservation considerations, hazardous materials, design possibilities, potential unit count, and financing options that will inform a subsequent RFP to select a qualified affordable housing developer to redevelop the Armory. 
Norfolk, $224,000
This award will fund the preparation of a wastewater master plan for Norfolk Center to evaluate the existing wastewater treatment plant for expansion, prepare a wastewater collection system plan, and prepare wastewater master plan. The effort will review the required permitting to leverage unused sewer capacity and potentially extend sewer lines to encourage new development at vacate sites and increased development in areas that have capacity for more density.
Watertown, $200,000 
Watertown will undertake a renovation and park modernization project along a portion of Arsenal Park to enhance the area with visual and pedestrian access from Arsenal Street through Arsenal Yards and publicly accessible open space.  This new gateway entrance and renovation will increase access to recreational space for residents of the 880 new housing units in this area as well as visitors. The enhanced area will also provide a setting for potential pop-up events, include cultural events, music, and theater.
Weymouth, $183,000
This award will fund preliminary engineering design services for reconstruction of Columbian Square to facilitate revitalization, remediate traffic concerns caused by recent housing development in the adjoining Union Point (formerly the Southfield Naval Air Station), and encourage additional growth of mixed-use development in the square.
Worcester, $249,682
The City of Worcester will undertake street improvements to Green Street allowing the city to complete the final infrastructure improvements around the Harding Green mixed-use development. Located on a 1.37-acre parcel, Harding Green is a mixed-used, four-story building with 48 rental units, as well as a first floor diner and public market. The resurfacing and line striping project will enhance safety, economic activity, and quality of life by improving access to neighborhoods and commercial areas, and implement universal design to increase access for all.
Small Town Awards
Barre, $100,000
Barre will undertake engineering and design work to meet Complete Streets standards on roads near both Ruggles Lane Elementary School and Quabbin Regional High School campus to improve walkability in the community, and encouraging students to walk to school.
Becket, $92,544
Becket will use funds to renovate an abandoned property to create an affordable housing unit in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Abandoned Housing Initiative.  This unit will be the Town’s first deed restricted affordable housing unit.  The Town crafted a funding package of local CPA monies and two state programs. 
Berlin, $100,000
The Town of Berlin will repave the Town Hall parking lot to improve safety, facilitate water run-off and remove landscaping islands which inhibit plowing efforts.  Town Hall is a community resource accessed by many residents for senior activities and a food pantry making safety improvements a priority for this small town. 
Bolton, $100,000
Bolton will make drainage and flood control improvements in three areas on South Bolton and Spectacle Hill Roads, including near the entrance of a 78-lot subdivision currently under construction. Portions of these roads flood annually causing unsafe travel conditions and road damage near new housing developments.
Buckland, $21,059
Buckland will conduct the Phase II of a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey (SSES) that will enable the town to make improvements to its wastewater treatment facility in order to correct inflow and infiltration problems.  [No changes]
Manchester-By-The-Sea, $100,000
Manchester will undertake an analysis of options to decommission the existing Wastewater Treatment Plant to allow redevelopment of the site for transit-oriented development that includes housing.  Engineering and consultant services will evaluate options for connecting to the City of Beverly's wastewater collection system or constructing a new pipeline through Beverly to directly connect to South Essex Sewerage District. 
Plympton, $93,000
Plympton will use funds to undertake a feasibility study and develop a Concept Design Plan to guide the planning process for the use of 26 acres of town-owned property in the Center of Plympton, known as "The Town Campus” with the goal to develop a Land-use Plan for existing and recently obtained parcels of town-owned property.
Rochester, $100,000
Rochester will install a lift in the town library to allow ADA access to the lower level. In accordance with the library’s long-term plan, this will open up needed space for library programs and make library operations more efficient by eliminating the need for off-site storage. 
Sherborn, $100,000
This grant will fund the design and construction of a sidewalk to create a safe connection between three multi-family projects to the primary business district of Sherborn.  Sidewalk infrastructure in this rural town is a priority to allow new residents to safely access retail opportunism without a car. 
Wellfleet, $100,000
Wellfleet will use award funds to design a water distribution system for 30 – 40 affordable/community housing on a town owned site and upgrade an existing water main that connects the required redundant water source with the balance of the system.  The proposed housing units will address the shortage of year-round housing in the community, but will require a larger water main to provide hydraulic pressure necessary to meet DEP requirements for secondary or redundant water sources.