FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2018
Contact: Kevin Harutunian
BEVERLY – The City of Beverly was selected for the inaugural cohort of Housing Choice Communities in Massachusetts, part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Housing Choice Initiative. Beverly’s selection is based on meeting numerical benchmarks for housing production and implementing best practices for the creation of housing. The Housing Choice Designation is designed to be simple, flexible and achievable for municipalities, and in the program’s first year, 67 communities will be able to take advantage of new financial resources, including exclusive access to new Housing Choice Capital Grants, and preferential treatment for many state grant and capital funding programs, including MassWorks, Complete Streets, MassDOT capital projects, and PARC and LAND grants.
In addition, MassHousing awarded 15 municipalities Planning for Housing Production Technical Assistance Grants. Beverly was awarded up to $30,000 in a Housing Production Technical Assistance Grant to conduct analyses that will help the City better understand the relationship between housing production and public services and communicate that to constituents. Throughout the Commonwealth, MassHousing support will focus on housing development and may include assistance in crafting new zoning, planning public infrastructure improvements, capacity-building in planning and community development, and public education and data transparency initiatives to increase community support. The grant will aid Beverly in achieving its affordable housing goals and delivering the long term goal of new mixed-income housing in a manner that is consistent with local priorities.
Both announcements are intended to support communities in their efforts to substantially increase housing production across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “Our Administration’s Housing Choice Initiative aims to maximize collaboration between state agencies, support innovation and data-driven policies, and provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth with tools to drive housing production in their communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to celebrate the first municipalities participating in the program and look forward to working with the Legislature to pass the Housing Choice Initiative to create more housing opportunities across Massachusetts.”
“The communities recognized today are already working hard to help create more housing opportunities across Massachusetts,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to support our Housing Choice Communities in their efforts to build new housing and create vibrant, welcoming communities for our families, workforce and residents.”
“We are excited to be named a Housing Choice city by the Baker-Polito Administration. From our new 40R district which will provide 75 new family housing units for homeless (12 units) and workforce (63 units at under 60% area median income) families, to our new transit oriented development mixed housing and commercial/retail buildings downtown near our Beverly Depot commuter rail station, to our senior affordable housing and our supported housing units downtown which include homes for adults with autism and for formerly homeless individuals, everything we do in Beverly is made possible in significant part due to our active and productive partnerships throughout the Baker-Polito Administration,” said Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill. “Governor Baker and his team understand the needs of local communities, and they are making real progress in providing needed high quality housing for the people of Massachusetts.”
“Achieving Housing Choice Designation is a testament to a strong commitment by the City administration, along with many stakeholders and residents who have supported our efforts in creating new affordable and market rate housing opportunities. There are strong partnerships in Beverly and a knowledgeable citizenry; both are necessary to move the City forward in supporting the creation and preservation of high quality and affordable housing.” said Planning Director Aaron Clausen.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito presents the Housing Choice Initiative designations to 67 communities and the MassHousing Housing Production Technical Assistance Grants to 15 municipalities including Beverly. Beverly Mayor Michael P. Cahill appears in the 2nd row, 4th from right.