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Gorham Street Apartments receive state funding

The Gorham Street Apartments development project, a Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA) initiative providing much-needed quality, affordable housing in Lowell, has received funding from the state of Massachusetts.

On November 14, Governor Deval Patrick announced funding commitments for housing developments across the state, including the Gorham Street Apartments. The CBA-sponsored initiative involves new construction of 24 units on the vacant property at 305 Gorham Street, providing working families with quality housing that will be professionally managed.

“Creating or preserving affordable housing helps to generate jobs, grow local businesses and strengthen our communities,” Governor Patrick said. “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.”

Demonstrated success

Since its inception in 1982, CBA has been responsible for over $80 million in successful physical redevelopment projects and demonstrated success in developing and managing affordable housing. Serving the city of Lowell and the Merrimack Valley, CBA has completed seven Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects and manages a portfolio of 425 affordable housing units and 33 commercial units. This is CBA’s first high-profile development project outside of the Acre.

The Gorham Street Apartments project will give new life to a long vacant site, stimulating the local economy and creating a property that will serve as a community asset. The project will provide housing for working families with household incomes limited to 60% of the area median income, or approximately $29,000 to $54,000 for a family of four.

“CBA’s long-term investment in our city is transforming lives as it transforms neighborhoods,” said CBA Board President Cheryl Stafford. “In addition to providing high-quality housing for families, the Gorham Street Apartments project will have a significant short- and long-term economic impact on the city, with construction jobs, an increased tax base, and increased property values.”

Enhancing the neighborhood

The project is designed to complement the historic characteristics of the neighboring properties and enhance the streetscape, according to Madeline Nash, CBA Director of Real Estate. The building will include an elevator, laundry room, community room, and property management office. Six of the housing units have a townhouse design, which provides multiple entry ways, enlivening the streetscape and adding to pedestrian use.

The building will be Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certifiable, and the design will promote green and sustainable practices in selection of materials and high-energy efficiency. The building design complies with the guidelines of the Downtown Lowell Historic District and was approved by both the Lowell Historic Board and the Lowell Planning Board in 2011.

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will support the project with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, as well as funds from the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and state subsidies. The project will further be supported by funds from the city of Lowell.

The vacant lot at 305 Gorham Street was once the site of St. Peter’s Church, which was demolished in 1996. The former St. Peter’s rectory, located at 327 Gorham Street, is not part of the development project and will remain as office space for businesses.