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City of Worcester Announces Affordable Housing Trust Fund

For Immediate Release: 10/4/2022 2:07 pm

WORCESTER – The newly created Worcester Affordable Housing Trust Fund is now open for its first applicants.

The City of Worcester Executive Office of Economic Development has released the request for development proposals for the fund, which provides financial support for the development of affordable rental and first-time homeownership units.

“This is a big moment in our city’s history,” said Acting City Manager Eric Batista. “The cost of housing is rising across the country, and here in Worcester leaders and community partners are working together to help find solutions. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the first of its kind in our city, is one tool we will be using to help our residents.”

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funding has been committed.

An eligible project must be a property developed through either new construction or substantial rehabilitation that creates new affordable housing units.

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund may award up to $150,000 per eligible unit, or up to 25 percent of the total development cost – whichever is less – to successful applicants. In addition, projects may receive up to $25,000 of bonus funding for each eligible unit restricted to 30 percent or less of area median income and/or each accessible unit over the minimum required 10 percent threshold.

The fund is overseen by a nine-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Worcester city manager. The role of the Board of Trustees is to advise and assist the city in efforts related to creating and preserving affordable housing for the benefit of low- and moderate-income households.

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund trustees will select awardees based on the project's eligibility and strength using a set scoring rubric.

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund was established in 2021 by a city ordinance to help address affordable housing needs in the community. The pandemic highlighted challenges related to housing quality and instability, and community input emphasized affordable housing as a critical need.

As a result, the city dedicated $28 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to housing. Of this amount, $15 million was allocated to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The City of Worcester will host a workshop for applicants interested in Housing funding programs, including the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the Levi Lincoln chamber at City Hall.

For more information, please visit the Affordable Housing Trust Fund webpage: worcesterma.gov/housing-neighborhood-development/affordable-housing-trust-fund

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