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3 towns, 2 regions picked for MHP's Complete Neighborhoods Partnership

Posted on June 14, 2022

BOSTON --- Three communities and two regions have been selected to participate in the state’s Complete Neighborhoods Partnership (CNP), a new program that will support the creation of walkable neighborhoods near downtowns, transit, jobs and peoples’ daily needs, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership has announced.

Chelsea, Brockton, Fitchburg, six towns in Franklin County and a regional application from North Attleborough and Plainville were selected as the first recipients of Complete Neighborhoods Partnership awards.

“This program builds upon what we know about how to advance good housing, transportation and housing policy,” said MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler said. “Complete Neighborhoods, like all efforts to promote transit-oriented development, represent a strong recognition across state government that housing, transportation and climate are intertwined, and we have to address all of them together.”

MHP is administering CNP with funds from the state’s 2021 economic development bond bill through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED).  MHP announced the partnership designations on June 8 at the second day of its annual Housing Institute conference for local leaders.

The program will select up to 12 communities to receive $150,000 or more in technical services for a total of $1.8 million over the program’s five-year period. Services will be performed by MHP staff and/or third-party consultants. MHP held an application round in 2002 and plans to hold another in 2024. Here are snapshot details of the five partnership selectees for 2022:

  • The City of Chelsea is planning to use the funds to expand its West Chelsea mixed-use overlay district from 50 to 150 acres. Expansion of the district will unlock potential for transit-oriented development adjacent to the recently renovated Chelsea commuter rail and Silver Line station at Everett Avenue.
  • The City of Brockton will use CNP funds to implement zoning and other recommendations designed to transform the Campello neighborhood into a more mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood. These efforts will capitalize on the neighborhood’s transit station and multiple bus lines.
  • The City of Fitchburg will use CNP to continue its downtown revitalization momentum, with a particular focus on expanding housing opportunities, including exploring the development potential of upper-floor spaces in commercial buildings. More housing would enable residents to capitalize on the city’s rail and other public transit options, as well as traffic pattern redesigns aimed at making the downtown more pedestrian friendly.
  • CNP funds will help six communities in the Franklin County region prioritize the use of vacant land and identify development opportunities near transit nodes throughout the region. Franklin County already has a good regional transit system, and these towns recognizes the importance of intensifying residential and mixed uses near transit stops to address issues around housing, transportation, and climate. The six towns in this partnership are Greenfield, Montague, Deerfield, Orange, Erving and Whately.
  • North Attleboro and Plainville have recently succeeded in adopting transit-oriented development zoning in their town centers and hope to use CNP assistance to explore the potential of redeveloping underutilized and vacant properties to facilitate the creation of mixed-use neighborhoods. Several of the development opportunities are within a service corridor that provides transit to commuter rail stations and commercial centers.

The Complete Neighborhoods Partnership is part of MHP’s Complete Neighborhoods Initiative, which is supporting state efforts to promote more housing near transit, town centers and jobs. It includes “3A-TA” technical assistance to help MBTA communities comply with the state’s new multifamily zoning requirement. It also includes CNP, which is designed to promote walkable neighborhoods across the Commonwealth.

CNP opened its application process in March. Applications were reviewed by a selection committee that included representatives from MHP, MassHousing, DHCD, MassDOT, MassBike, MassInc, MassDevelopment, and the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association.

For more information about CNP, contact MHP Senior Development Manager Christine Madore at cmadore@mhp.net.

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