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Patrick announces nearly $1M grant for Worcester

Banner Staff

Nearly $1 million in state funds will be infused into Worcester to help the city expand its affordable housing stock, Gov. Deval Patrick announced last Thursday.

The Commonwealth will award a $760,000 grant to the Worcester East Side Community Development Corp. to help fund the Bell Hill IV homeownership project.

The grant money, which comes from the state Housing Stabilization Fund, will help build four additional homeownership properties in Bell Hill, according to a statement from the Governor’s Office. In the Bell Hill region, single and two-family homes under $260,000 continue to be marketable and affordable for those seeking ownership.

Another $116,000 in grants went to the Main South Community Development Corp.’s Kilby Townhomes, on top of $104,000 to convert a finished project on Benefit Street into affordable rental housing.

Patrick explained in a statement that the 10-unit attached townhouse project came on the market late in 2007, as Worcester began feeling the impact of the subprime mortgage fallout. Since then, potential homeowners have been unable to afford the units, originally priced at $152,000 each. The new grant funds will allow Main South to immediately begin selling the units at $130,000 each, the Governor’s Office said.

The grant announcements follow another that allocated more than $200,000 to foreclosure education centers, statewide foreclosure prevention efforts and first-time homebuyer programs in Worcester.

“We must invest in communities across the Commonwealth to position ourselves for growth and economic security over the long run and prime the economic pump now,” Patrick said in a statement. “That’s how we create opportunities for individuals, families and companies to prosper.”

Main South will also receive a $103,788 award to provide funds to convert the completed Benefit Street project to affordable rental housing. The four units are now on the market as condominiums sold for ownership. The new funds will go toward converting them to rental properties.

“A home is more than simply shelter,” said Patrick. “It is an opportunity for individuals and families to put down roots, be part of a neighborhood, and have a stake in the community.”

Material from the Associated Press and the Governor’s Office was used in this report.

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