Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined members of the Legislature and local officials today to announce the 2020 Round of the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program.
This year’s awards will invest nearly $68 million in 36 projects to support housing, economic development and road safety projects in 35 cities and towns across the Commonwealth. The awards, announced during a virtual ceremony, are part of the administration’s Partnerships for Recovery initiative.
“MassWorks provides essential funding to cities and towns for infrastructure projects that spur housing production, create jobs and attract private investment, which are particularly important during our economic recovery,” said Gov. Baker. “We are grateful for our partnerships, both with the Legislature and with local officials, that make these investments possible, and we look forward to continued collaboration to support Massachusetts’ economy.”
Lt. Gov. Polito said MassWorks “plays a critical role in filling in the needed funding gaps that would otherwise keep these key projects from moving forward and inhibit substantial private investments in the main streets and downtowns of municipalities across the Commonwealth.” She added that the flexible funding empowers communities “to move ahead with projects that will have an immediate and lasting impact on their commercial districts, housing stock and residents.”
In total, the 2020 MassWorks awards will help create more than 3,500 new housing units, including more than 1,000 affordable units; result in more than 3,900 new jobs, support more than 7,000 construction jobs, and leverage more than $1.6 billion in private investment, according to the administration.
Among this year’s projects, 23 are reactivating underused sites, 20 are transit-oriented developments, 14 have a mixed-use component; nine are in Gateway Cities, and eight are roadway projects in small and rural communities. Additionally, eight towns are receiving their first-ever MassWorks award. The transformative projects funded by the 2020 awards were selected through a competitive process that received 100 applications, totaling nearly $208 million in requests.
“This year’s MassWorks round funds public infrastructure projects directly aligned with key strategic goals of our plan for economic recovery, namely, revitalizing our downtowns and main streets, getting people back to work, and supporting housing opportunity,” Kennealy said.
The administration prioritized projects that are at an advanced stage of planning, design and permitting, and are ready to start construction in spring 2021.
Haverhill will use MassWorks funds for infrastructure improvements that will unlock 290 housing units and new retail space, and create 20 permanent full-time jobs. In Leominster, water and sewer upgrades will benefit the expansion of the Mall at Whitney Field. As a result of public infrastructure investments, the cities of Brockton and Pittsfield will also realize new redevelopment opportunities through both commercial and residential projects, according to the administration.
Nantucket Select Board Chair Dawn Hill Holdgate said her town “is grateful to be receiving its first MassWorks grant, particularly at this critical time.”
“Housing for our year-round community remains the number one priority of the Select Board, and this award will facilitate building the roadway infrastructure to support a new, 64-unit rental housing development on town land where 80% of the residences will be income-restricted.”
“As one of the first designated TDI [Transformative Development Initiative] districts in the Commonwealth,” said Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, “we are deeply grateful to MassDevelopment for its continuous support through the years in helping to foster and implement our vision for this critical neighborhood corridor in our city.”
Northfield Selectboard Chair Alex Meisner said his town’s “aging roads will benefit greatly from this funding.” His town is collaborating with neighboring Warwick to improve a connector roadway.
“Half of all land in Warwick is state owned parks and reserves, land that contributes to our community character,” said Warwick Selectboard Member Todd Dexter. “This project addresses our need to adequately fund roads through these lands, something that is nearly impossible for a tiny town.”
Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10% of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety projects. Towns like Avon, Buckland, Harvard, Phillipston and Plainfield will see extensive roadway improvements as well as upgrades to culverts and underground water and sewer utilities along critical thoroughfares used by emergency first responders, school buses, residents and commuters. These MassWorks-funded projects will improve public safety, prevent the need for lengthy, long-term detours, and preserve housing density.
Since 2015, and including this year’s round, the Baker-Polito administration said it has invested nearly $533 million in grant funds to support public infrastructure projects, with 259 awards spread out across 157 cities and towns. The administration said the grants have unlocked and leveraged more than $10.8 billion in private investment, supported the creation of more than 17,000 new housing units, and led to tens of thousands of new permanent and construction jobs.
The MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program, administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, is a competitive grant program that provides a flexible source of capital funds to municipalities and other eligible public entities for public infrastructure projects that produce housing, create jobs, and generate additional private sector investment.