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Romney Announces Massachusetts Green Communities Initiative

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ROMNEY ANNOUNCES MASSACHUSETTS GREEN COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE

$209M would ensure Healthier Homes and Opportunities to Build Affordable Housing

Governor Mitt Romney today announced the Massachusetts Green Communities Initiative to build more environmentally-friendly, affordable housing that adheres to smart growth principles.

The Governor joined MassHousing, The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), and The Enterprise Foundation (Enterprise) at the announcement. Collectively these organizations will make available $209 million worth of incentives to build 1,000 new environmentally-friendly, "green," homes in Massachusetts. This project will not require any new taxpayer dollars.

"Combining affordable housing and environmentally-friendly smart growth isn't just about dollars and cents. It's about promoting common sense," said Romney. "By simultaneously investing in affordable housing and smart growth, Green Communities will help support our economy while maintaining the kind of diversity and healthy environment that makes Massachusetts such a great place to work, live and raise a family."

MassHousing will provide approximately $125 million in mortgage financing.

"These are exciting new additions to the menu of financing options available to housing developers in Massachusetts," said Tom Gleason, executive director of MassHousing. "The typical affordable housing developer usually is on a tight budget and doesn't have the money to explore "green" building techniques, but with these new resources they can do more."

Enterprise will provide up to $75 million in private equity to developers from the sale of low-income housing tax credits. Enterprise will also provide up to $500,000 in grants and loans for the pre-development, acquisition and construction of projects which meet specific "green" building criteria.

"We commend Governor Romney, MassHousing and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for joining Enterprise in making smart, sustainable building mainstream in affordable housing," said Bart Harvey, chairman and CEO of The Enterprise Foundation and chairman of ESIC. "Massachusetts Green Communities will help ensure smarter, healthier homes are available to Massachusetts families with limited incomes while protecting the environment for all of us."

MTC will provide $8.5 million in grants specifically for renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaic panels, wind powered electricity generators, water-powered electricity generators and fuel cells that are used in the construction of affordable housing.

"This partnership will produce healthier, more energy efficient, affordable housing for residents across the Commonwealth," said Rob Pratt, director of the Renewable Energy Trust which is located within the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. "We are putting funding from the Renewable Energy Trust to work in clean energy projects and businesses throughout the state, which helps our environment and our economy."

Massachusetts Green Communities is part of the National Green Communities Initiative. It is a five-year, $555 million commitment to build more than 8,500 environmentally responsive affordable homes.

"The developers of Maverick Landing are honored to have served as a model for integrating green technologies with affordable housing development," said James G. Keefe, President of Trinity Financial, Inc., the developer of Maverick Landing in East Boston where the announcement was made. "These technologies give us an important tool in combating the relentless rise in energy costs, as well as providing a healthier and more comfortable environment for our residents."

For more information on Massachusetts Green Communities, visit www.greencommunitiesonline.org

http://www.mass.gov/portal/index.jsp?pageID=pressreleases&agId=Agov2&prModName=gov2pressrelease&prFile=gov_pr_050707_green_community.xml

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