About Housing Development

Housing Development

Mission

The City of Newton supports the development of affordable housing by making funding available for the acquisition, new construction and rehabilitation of units, as well as through programs and policies that support the development of rental and for-sale affordable units to income-eligible individuals and families.

Background

The City provides funding to nonprofit and for-profit housing developers and providers to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing in the city. The City receives federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on an annual basis to support the development and preservation of affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income individuals, families, the elderly and people with special needs.

Current Funding and Application Process

Proposals for the use of CDBG and HOME funds are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. The City currently has $1,000,000 in CDBG funds and $143,799 in HOME funds to support eligible projects. Project sponsors must submit a complete housing proposal application in order for their project to be considered for CDBG and/or HOME funds. Prior to submitting a proposal, project sponsors/applicants are highly encouraged to meet with City staff to discuss their proposal, eligible uses of funds, and other details of the application and development process. 

The City is seeking proposal that are consistent with the housing principles detailed in the Newton Leads 2040 Housing Strategy and housing needs and goals identified in the 2016-2020 Consolidated Plan and FY17 Annual Action Plan.

Download the Affordable Housing Proposal Handbook for additional information and to access the application forms. To schedule a meeting to discuss a proposal or if you need assistance accessing the application, please contact Amanda Berman, Housing Development Planner, with the City of Newton: 617-796-1147 or aberman@newtonma.gov .

Most housing development proposals also include a request for funding from the Newton Community Preservation Program. Please visit the Community Preservation Program website for information on the funding process or contact Alice Ingerson, Community Preservation Program Manager, with the City of Newton: 617-796-1144 or aingerson@newtonma.gov.

Public Policy

City housing development funds are most typically committed to projects that require multiple sources of financing. The City will provide initial financing (“first in”) that can serve as an impetus to encourage other lenders to support a project and as gap financing, if necessary, to ensure project feasibility.

Eligible Uses of Funds

Depending on the source of funds, financial assistance is available for acquisition, reducing the principal balance on a mortgage, and rehabilitation (if a moderate amount of rehabilitation work is required and is part of a larger CDBG- or HOME-funded acquisition project). Funds are available to support the development of both homeownership and rental units. Both permanent and transitional housing, including group residences, are eligible for funding.

Eligible Applicants

Nonprofit and for-profit affordable housing developers and providers are eligible to receive funding.

Terms of Funding Assistance

Funds are available as deferred forgivable loans at 0% interest for a 50-year term for nonprofit housing developers. The terms are the same for for-profit developers except the interest rate is prime plus 1% point. The interest rate is established at the beginning of a housing development project so that it can be reflected in financial pro formas.

Term of Affordability

Projects assisted with federal funds are deed restricted in perpetuity (with approval from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development), or to the maximum extent permitted by law, prior to closing on funds.

Income Eligibility

The gross annual household income for homebuyers or tenants of affordable units cannot exceed 80 percent of Boston area median income. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determines the income limits annually. Household income is determined by the number of persons in the household and the total gross household income.

Architectural Accessibility

The City of Newton is committed to ensuring that persons of all ages and abilities can participate in affordable housing opportunities without barriers that limit their access to this valuable resource. In its efforts to expand the stock of affordable housing and secure barrier-free use by its residents and to assure that Newton is a diverse and welcoming community, the City of Newton encourages developers who seek public funds for affordable housing to exceed the minimum legal requirements for accessibility applicable to the program from which funding is sought.

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