On May 11, Governor Charlie Baker announced a new $100 million MassHousing fund for the creation of workforce housing. The fund will increase rental housing opportunities for households earning 61% to 120% of area median income (AMI), who may have incomes too high for subsidized housing but are priced out of affordable market rents as housing costs in Massachusetts continue to rise.
The following week, the Urban Land Institute released a study co-sponsored by MassHousing titled "Building for the Middle: Housing Greater Boston's Workforce" that makes the case for building new units for middle-income residents.
"Making more affordable housing options available to working Massachusetts families is essential to economic growth and development in communities throughout the Commonwealth," said Governor Baker. "These working middle-income families are the foundation of our economy and talented workforce, and the creation of this $100 million fund by MassHousing will advance opportunities for them to thrive and prosper."
"MassHousing recognizes that many middle-income households are struggling with housing costs and the Agency felt it was important to create this fund for workforce housing," said MassHousing Executive Director Timothy C. Sullivan. "We are committed to working with Governor Baker to increase affordable housing opportunities for low-, moderate-, and middle-income residents of the Commonwealth."
The announcement was made in Lynn near the future site of Gateway Residences on Washington Street, a 71-unit, mixed-income development receiving financing for 10 workforce housing units under the new initiative for moderate-income residents, and additional funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for low-income units.
"This new workforce housing fund is the latest in a series of steps we've taken to advance housing production for all the Commonwealth's residents," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. "Housing production is economic development, and by expanding the range of housing options for middle-income residents, we will unlock new economic growth across Massachusetts."
"The Commonwealth's partnership with MassHousing is a great example of how the state can leverage significant outside resources to multiply the impact of our contributions in key policy areas to maximize the return on our investments," said Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Kristen Lepore. "The creation of this fund, when coupled with future strategic capital investments by the state, will induce additional private investment in the Massachusetts economy while providing critical support for hardworking middle-class families."
MassHousing's $100 million Investment for Workforce Housing:
- Targets individuals and families with incomes of 61% to 120% of AMI
- Provides up to $100,000 of subsidy per workforce housing unit to create 1,000 new units of workforce housing statewide
- Leverages strategic opportunities to use state-owned land
- Consists of newly constructed units or refinancing of a housing community where new units of workforce housing will be created
- Remains consistent with development financing in MassHousing's enabling statute ensuring that in addition to the workforce housing tier, at least 20% of the units in a financed development will be affordable to households at or below 80% of AMI
- Ensures workforce housing units will be deed restricted as affordable to households with incomes between 61% and 120% AMI for an extended period of time, generally 30 years or longer