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Governor Patrick Announces Funding for Rehab of Tornado-Damaged Housing

Press Release

Location: Springfield, MA

Governor Deval Patrick today announced funding for the rehabilitation of Center City Apartments, a development heavily damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornadoes. Using $1 million in state housing subsidies and $1.1 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits awarded by the Patrick-Murray Administration, the project will preserve 47 units of mixed-income family housing in four buildings throughout three Springfield neighborhoods.

The award was made as part of a $105 million investment in affordable housing for families, seniors and veterans statewide, including more than $23 million in federal low-income housing tax credits; $20 million in state low-income housing tax credits and $61 million in state and federal housing program subsidies.

"We have been on the ground, committed to using last year's crisis as an opportunity for these communities to rebuild and rebound stronger than before, and I am proud that these funds strengthen that commitment," said Governor Patrick. "Government's role is to help people help themselves, and investing in affordable housing will build a better Commonwealth by generating jobs and growing local businesses."

"The City of Springfield is very appreciative of the Patrick-Murray Administration's continued assistance," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. "They've been a great partner in not only helping us rebuild structures and infrastructures, but lives as well."

Center City Apartments is a scattered-site rental development comprised of 47 apartments in four buildings located in three neighborhoods, including Springfield's South End, where 16 of the apartments were damaged by the tornado. Although the apartments have been made weather-tight, they remain unoccupied. They will now be fully restored with energy-efficient upgrades and historically accurate finishes. Planned improvements include replacing boilers, windows, porches and many other building elements. Other funding includes a grant from the City of Springfield as well as allocations of state historic tax credits and energy incentives from the Department of Energy Resources and Western Mass. Electric Company.

"Today's announcement, on the cusp of the one year anniversary of the deadly tornadoes, underscores the fact that many are still struggling to rebuild their lives," said Senator Gale Candaras. "The welcome news will provide the city with much needed affordable housing resources and serve as another step forward in our region's recovery."

"I want to thank the Administration for their continued commitment to helping the City of Springfield rebuild," said Senator James T. Welch. "The fact that we are prioritizing affordable housing projects is extremely beneficial to the residents and our community."

"As we approach the one year anniversary of the devastating tornado that damaged this area, the support and assistance from the Patrick-Murray Administration has never diminished," stated Representative Brian Ashe. "This shows a true commitment for the western Massachusetts region, the City of Springfield and all of the tornado damaged areas. This money will not only help those who desperately need housing, but it will also help to stimulate the economy with local jobs."

All of the Center City buildings are more than 100 years old and are examples of typical multi-family construction in Springfield during the 1910's. The properties meet criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, and their renovation has the support of the Springfield Historical Commission. The buildings undergoing improvement are:

22-24 Winthrop Street
71 Adams Street
91-93 Pine Street
116 Hancock-130 Tyler Streets

"We are extremely grateful to the Governor and his staff for recognizing the importance of restoring these buildings to their former glory," said Home City Housing Executive Director Thomas Kegelman. "This will be an important step in the community's efforts to rebuild downtown Springfield with attractive apartments for Springfield's families of all incomes."

The Patrick-Murray Administration launched an immediate and comprehensive response to the June 1st tornadoes, and remains committed to helping impacted communities and residents use this crisis as an opportunity to rebuild, renew and rebound. Following the state's multi-faceted emergency efforts last spring, the Administration has maintained its presence in the region, dedicated significant resources to rebuilding projects and partnered with federal and local officials to get business and homeowners back on their feet. To date, individuals, homeowners and businesses have received more than $26.7 million in federal disaster assistance to cover uninsured losses. The Department of Housing and Community Development helped hundreds of families find emergency shelter and has so far funded $525,000 in home repair. The Division of Insurance served as a resource and advocate for consumers filing $200 million in claims. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has directed $2.3 million in state funding to repair more than 20 streets throughout the region.

Since the beginning of their first term, Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray have worked with the state legislature and Congress to direct over $700 million in federal and state tax credits and state housing program subsidies to projects that improve the state's affordable housing, create jobs and build stronger communities. These investments have generated more than 14,000 jobs and 10,000 housing units; 9,000 of which are affordable.

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