A program to boost housing production formally awarded grants last week to Haverhill and Methuen, among 30 communities across the state.
A Housing Choice Community Capital Grant of $250,000 was awarded to support Bread and Roses Housing in its quest to create 10 affordable housing units in the city’s Mount Washington neighborhood. Methuen will use $168,397 to improve and create disabled pedestrian walkways and ramps in Gaunt Square for a planned housing and commercial development. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy made the announcements last week in Brockton.
In Haverhill, property of the former St. George’s Catholic Church will become 10 units of affordable housing. The development will create homeownership opportunities through a community-based land trust, with ownership possible for residents at 60% of area median income. Four new townhouses will be built along 430-432 Washington Street and another six units along Gilbert Avenue.
Methuen will fund engineering, survey and design work to upgrade two intersections to conform to disabled access standards. The project will also reconstruct existing non-compliant sidewalks and wheelchair ramps, construct new, compliant wheelchair ramps and crosswalks where required and install accessible pedestrian traffic signals and detectors with audible tones and/or vibrating surfaces.
Launched by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2017 to create135,000 new housing units by 2025, the Housing Choice Initiative includes technical assistance, a community designation with access to capital grant programs and proposed legislation titled An Act to Promote Housing Choices.