The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development recently approved Lynn’s application for their Housing Development Incentive Program(HDIP). HDIP is an economic development tool that supports market rate housing projects.
As part of the application process, the City adopted the Downtown-Waterfront HD Zone and HD Zone Plan after a public hearing earlier this year. The Zone consists of the southeastern third of the City, including the Downtown and Waterfront areas.
“I congratulate Lynn for embracing growth, and taking this key step to capitalize on its tremendous potential,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Lynn’s new downtown and waterfront development district follows on earlier planning efforts and zoning changes, and it puts the tools in place to create a vibrant, mixed-income urban neighborhood.”
HDIP aims to increase residential growth, expand diversity of housing supply, support economic development and promote neighborhood stabilization in the state’s 26 Gateway Cities, which include Lynn.
“Housing stock diversity is crucial for the success Gateway Cities like Lynn,” said State Representative Brendan Crighton. “We must continue to make investments and policies like this to encourage businesses and residents to make Lynn their home.”
“We are excited for this city-state partnership that further advances our efforts to promote economic development and improve our neighborhoods,” said Lynn City Council President Dan Cahill.
HDIP’s incentives consist of a local option property tax exemption to be negotiated by the City with the developer and a state investment tax credit to be awarded by the state. Qualified developments include the substantial rehabilitation of an existing property. The projects may be mixed use and a minimum of 80% of the units must be market rate.
“We need to continue to make sound investments within the City of Lynn and I feel that this is another step in the right direction in harnessing the City’s potential,” said State Senator Thomas McGee. “Being able to create new housing opportunities along with alternative transportation options such as the Lynn to Boston ferry will help the City become an economic driver on the North Shore.”
“We are thrilled to have received approval for our Downtown-Waterfront Development Housing Zone,” said Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. “We have long been trying to bring in new commercial and residential development and support a growing arts, culture and dining scene in our downtown and waterfront area. Coupled with the relaunch of our commuter ferry service, this new zoning presents huge redevelopment potential.”
“There is a well-documented need for more housing production in Greater Boston. Lynn’s establishment of a Housing Development Incentive program zone will stimulate housing production and complement Downtown and Waterfront economic development initiatives,” said Manisha Bewtra of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, who helped create the plan.
“Moving forward with the HDIP shows a great commitment from DHCD and the City, it will prove to be an important tool for the Downtown and waterfront vision,” said LHAND Executive Director Charles Gaeta. “Having these important initiatives at the City’s disposal will attract and further assist investors and developers revitalize these essential target areas. There is certainly a strong need for market rate housing in the Downtown to support the growing restaurant and retail activity, and we are encouraged with the DHCD approval of this resource.”
This past year the Legislature and former Governor Patrick increased the capacity of the HDIP state investment credit from $5 million to $10 million as part of the 2014 Economic Development Law.