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$8.4 million put towards affordable housing in Boston

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the Department of Neighborhood Development announced Monday that $8.4 million in resources and tax credit funding would be put toward three new affordable housing projects in the city.

Menino said these projects will help create more housing and create about 300 new construction jobs in a press release on Monday.

“It is critical that we use every resource available to build more rental housing for working families in our city,” he said. “Creating affordable rental housing not only provides housing for families, but it also aids Boston’s economic recovery.”

The new condo developments will be built in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Dorchester. They will provide 110 units of affordable rental housing for low-income families and households transitioning from homelessness, according to the press release.

Lisa Pollack, director of media and public relations for the Department of Neighborhood Development, said Boston received the $8.4 million from the Commonwealth’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

“These were projects that had been stalled because of the economy and financing issues,” she said. “The market for loans was very tight, so things like tax credits weren’t flowing. What this funding does, is it helps us bridge the gap between a stalled project and actually getting some shovels in the ground.”

Pollack also said the developments might yield new space for entrepreneueship.

“When you are able to open new small businesses, those generate jobs, those generate tax revenue, and those are in no small part the way that Mayor Menino looks at strengthening the communities,” she said. “Also he has always been really focused on helping the small businesses in the city and creating some space for new businesses to be born is exciting too.”

In an effort to make the new buildings energy efficient, Pollack said the new housing developments will adhere to Leaders in Energy in Environmental Design Silver Standard and Energy Star Standards.

“Obviously, it does cost more to build green. But in addition to it being the right thing to do, you do see savings and benefits that accrue over time in things like heating, cooling, water usage and hot water usage, “ Pollack said.

This funding for Boston affordable housing comes from a state fund of $67 million that will be used to improve housing infrastructure across the Commonwealth, according to the HUD website.

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick said in a press release Feb. 7 the project is set to create 1,700 new construction jobs as well as build or preserve 1,326 homes across greater Massachusetts.

“Government’s role is to help people help themselves, and sustainable affordable housing will build a better Commonwealth for generations to come,” he said in the release.

Matthew Sheaff, director of communications for the Department of Housing and Community Development said Patrick has a goal of creating 10,000 new units per year of housing.

“We know there is a high demand for housing across the Commonwealth,” Sheaff said. “I know local communities are excited, and we here at the state area are excited as well. We have a number of groundbreakings that start even next week, so we are looking forward to those.”

Sheaff said some housing projects are already in development. The rest of the groundbreakings will be posted online so communities can stay up to date, he said.

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