To improve tenant privacy and lessen vacancy rates for its elder residents, the Patrick Administration awarded $3 million from capital funds to the Concord Housing Authority Feb. 13.
According to the state Department of Housing and Community Development, the money will improve conditions for those living in Peter Bulkeley Terrace by converting its existing 38 communal apartments into new studio and one-bedroom apartments.
The former school building, transformed in 1980 into elderly housing and offices for the housing authority, had ongoing vacancy problems due to residents not wanting to live in congregate apartments with shared, foyer, kitchen, living and dining space.
“Our elders have given us a lot in their lifetimes and should have access to a decent place to live that affords them the privacy and dignity that they deserve,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “This award will help to improve not only their quality of life, but also that of the community as we strive to maximize occupancy of these apartments and continue to make public housing a valuable asset in Massachusetts.”
The funding comes from the housing bond bill — the state’s largest investment ever in housing and community development projects throughout the commonwealth. The award, distributed by the Department of Housing and Community Development, comes from the state through capital improvement bonds. The award is conditional on the Concord Housing Authority securing a dollar for dollar match of that funding from other sources, as well as any additional funds that may be required over and above that. The Concord Housing Authority has already moved its office from Bulkeley Terrace to accommodate this renovation.
“For years prior to the Patrick Administration, there was a severe lack of funding for important capital improvement projects like this. As a result, a number of developments fell into serious disrepair and did not meet tenant needs,” said DHCD Undersecretary Tina Brooks. “This award is another example of the ongoing commitment of this administration to improve public housing and keep our apartments in top condition. In these difficult economic times, these actions are more important than ever.”