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Patrick in Cambridge to sign housing bill

Posted by Your Town  November 14, 2013 08:20 AM

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Gov. Deval Patrick will sign a $1.4 billion housing investment bill on Thursday in Cambridge where he also plans to announce $73 million in state and federal financing for projects that will create 1,145 units of new housing across the state.

The governor has a visit planned to the Putnam Square Apartments project where $2.8 million in federal tax credits and subsidies will be used to renovate 94 units of elderly housing and create 34 construction jobs, according to the Patrick administration.

At Putnam Square, Patrick plans to sign the housing bond that was given final approval by the House and Senate last week. The bill authorizes $1.4 billion in borrowing over the next five years to invest in affordable housing options, including $500 million for public housing modernization, $45 million to create a capital financing fund for early education and out-of-school time facilities, and $55 million to help blind and severely disabled homeowners make home modifications and avoid placement in nursing homes.

“Creating or preserving affordable housing helps to generate jobs, grow local businesses and strengthen our communities” Patrick said in a statement released to the News Service. “Government’s role is to help people help themselves, and sustainable affordable housing will create growth and opportunity in our communities that will last for generations to come.”

Overall, the investments Patrick plans to announce will finance 24 projects in 17 cities and towns, creating 1,145 units of housing and an estimated 1,935 construction jobs.

The funding includes more than $14.8 million in federal low-income housing tax credits, $7.8 million in state low-income housing tax credits, and $5.1 million in state and federal housing program subsidies.

The majority of the new units – about 1,084 – will be affordable to low-income and moderate-income families, while 228 units will be reserved for extremely low-income families, including those transitioning from homelessness.

The number of families seeking shelter in hotels and motels has spiked since the summer, reaching an all-time high of 2,038 families last month as a temporary program created by the Patrick administration to transition homeless citizens into more permanent housing is winding down.

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