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A service for political professionals · Friday, October 7, 2022 · 594,674,676 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

$50 Million in Funding Available for Affordable Housing

Mayor Michelle Wu announced today that the City of Boston has released two Requests for Proposals (RFP), totaling $50 million for affordable housing projects. This funding is available to create and preserve rental, cooperative, and homeownership developments in Boston.

“Safe and stable housing is critical for the health of our residents, families, and communities,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This funding will ensure significant investments go toward safe, accessible affordable housing in our neighborhoods across the city. I’m grateful to the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Neighborhood Housing Trust, and the Community Preservation Committee for their leadership and partnership with our nonprofit and for-profit community development organizations to ensure Boston is a city for everyone.”

The $50 million available represents the contributions of three different City sources whose combined resources will ensure a deeper impact for low, moderate, and middle-income Bostonians. Thirty million dollars will be offered from funding sources controlled by the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Housing and the Community Preservation Fund. The Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund (NHT) is contributing the remaining $20 million in revenue from commercial real estate extractions, through the Linkage program.  

There will be a virtual Applicant's Conference on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, at 10:00 am. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent by Friday, August 26, 2022, and a final proposal by September 30, 2022, no later than 4 pm. Interested applicants may register for a package here

The Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Community Preservation Committee, and the Neighborhood Housing Trust will prioritize development proposals that produce significant percentages of housing for residents who have low incomes and those that serve homeless individuals, seniors, and residents with disabilities. The development projects must support the City of Boston’s goals to further fair housing, efficiently use City resources and land to increase the production and preservation of mixed-income housing, and help preserve affordable housing in at-risk expiring use developments. 

“Once again, Mayor Wu is demonstrating that she gets it—she is truly a mayor for everyone.  We appreciate her recognition that the provision of affordable housing is critical to the City’s vibrancy—and how she is making these new resources available,” said Amy Schectman, President & CEO of 2Life Communities.  “This commitment is fantastic! We are thrilled to support this exciting effort and hope that through this significant funding, our model for aging in community can be replicated to ensure older adults in Boston can live full lives of connection and purpose in the places they treasure.”   

This year’s RFPs will also enhance the City’s long-standing focus on advancing equity in every stage of the housing creation and preservation process.  

The RFPs require developers to report on how they will ensure the City of Boston’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) minority-owned businesses are represented throughout the development and property management process.  Development teams that are certified minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) and owners of 25% or more of the proposed project will receive the highest preference when award decisions are being made. Development teams where 25% or more of soft costs go to MBE consultants that have been identified as part of the team at the time of application will also receive an advantage. Applicants must also provide information on how resident services offered in a multifamily development will help support the economic mobility of residents who will live in affordable housing units.

All new construction projects funded in this latest round will be required to follow the Zero Emissions Building (ZEB) requirements outlined in the MOH Design Standards. Developers will be required to submit a preliminary Net Zero Strategy as part of the design submission. New multi-family buildings must use electricity and on-site photovoltaics as the sole (or primary) fuel source.  

"Accomplishing our vision for the Blue Hill Ave B1 parcels is highly dependent on our ability to secure funding from the Mayor's Office of Housing,” said Dariela Villon-Maga, President and Owner, DVM Consulting. “Without it, we would not be able to offer the level of affordability the Dorchester and Mattapan community truly needs. It allows us to create new, safe, energy-efficient homeownership and rental opportunities for those that need them the most. MOH is a critical partner to affordable housing developers working to combat Boston's housing affordability crisis.”

In addition to these City sources, the Mayor’s Office of Housing has at its disposal significant federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that can be used for affordable housing development.  In July, the Boston City Council approved Mayor Wu’s precedent-setting investment in affordable housing from ARPA funds, committing more than $205M to addressing specific housing issues.  These investments include:

  • $58 million for affordable housing production and financial support to homebuyers
  • $30 million to transform publicly-owned land into green, mixed-income communities 
  • $26 million for property acquisitions to prevent displacement
  • $20 million for greening affordable housing through deep green energy retrofits of existing buildings
  • $19 million to create new permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with substance use and behavioral health disorders

The majority of these ARPA funds will be released through additional competitive requests for proposals, some in combination with public land disposition. Some portion of these funds may be distributed through this RFP to eligible projects.

About the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH)

The Mayor’s Office of Housing is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, creating and preserving affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can obtain, maintain, and remain in safe, stable housing. The department develops and implements the City of Boston’s housing creation and homelessness prevention plans and collaborates with local and national partners to find new solutions and build more affordable housing, particularly for those with lower incomes. For more information, please visit the MOH website.

About the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund (NHT) 

The NHT Fund supports homeownership, rental, cooperative, transitional, and permanent housing developments. The NHT is funded through a project linkage fee system for commercial development projects above 100,000 square feet and supports homeownership, rental, cooperative, transitional, or permanent housing. The fund provides financing for projects serving households earning at or below 80 percent AMI and gives preference to populations living with disabilities. Funding is awarded as gap financing, and each applicant may receive up to $1 million per project. Priority is given to projects serving the greatest number of low-income households. The program also has a preference for projects that are near transit, and include family-sized units with two or more bedrooms. Boston's Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund is funded through a commercial project linkage payment fee system. For more information, please visit the NHT website.

About the Community Preservation Act (CPA) 

The City of Boston Community Preservation Act Program has awarded over $119 million to support 242 projects across the City since 2018. Community Preservation Act-funded projects can be found in every neighborhood across Boston. Of those supported since its creation, there have been 37 affordable housing projects, 97 open space and recreation projects, and 108 historic preservation projects. The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is committed to broad community participation, supporting accessible and visible projects that have a positive impact on neighborhoods and residents. For more information about the Community Preservation Act, visit here.

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