Andover, Methuen Applauded by Gov. Baker for Sustainable Housing Growth

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Two local communities earned exclusive access to capital grants and other incentives through the state’s new Housing Choice Initiative. (File photograph)

Andover and Methuen earned accolades from Beacon Hill this week as Gov. Charlie Baker applauded the communities for their commitment to sustainable housing growth.

The Merrimack Valley cities are two of 67 municipalities now eligible for grants and other incentives under the Baker-Polito Administration’s Housing Choice Initiative. The new program aims to create 135,000 new housing units across the state by 2025.

“The communities recognized today are already working hard to help create more housing opportunities across Massachusetts,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said. “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.”

Lawrence, North Andover and Lowell also earned the Housing Choice designation.

Designated communities have collectively produced nearly 60,000 new housing units over the last five years, Baker’s office said. Those in the program are now able to take advantage of exclusive Housing Choice capital grants and preferential treatment for other state grants and capital funding programs.

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash is confident the new initiative will spur multifaceted growth across the Commonwealth.

“We must accelerate housing production, for all of our residents, to keep pace with our growing economy, and keep Massachusetts an attractive place to live, work, and thrive,” Ash said.