Special to the Journal
In 2022, the City created the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) and designated $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the trust. To date, more than $2.2 million has been invested to increase affordable housing opportunities in Lynn.
The Affordable Housing Trust Fund has awarded:
• $1.25 million to Preservation of Affordable Housing for pre-development funding ($75,000) and acquisition of the Olympia Square Apartments ($1,175,000) to preserve affordability. POAH will be using the predevelopment funding to create 30-40 units of affordable housing on an adjacent parking lot, likely including at least 10 parking spaces on the ground floor and approximately 2,000 square feet of commercial space.
• $509,000 to the Latino Support Network for a proposed project that will result in six income-restricted homeownership condominiums affordable to households earning up to 60 and 80 percent AMI.
• $400,000 for a Housing Program Manager function over several years
• $75,000 to the Commonwealth Land Trust for the Casa Project, a 36-unit development with eight units at or below 30 percent area median income (AMI) and the other 28 units at or below 50 percent AMI.
“These are meaningful steps and the type of investment we envisioned when creating the Affordable Housing Trust Fund,” said Mayor Jared C. Nicholson. “The projects funded thus far will not only add affordable units, but also maintain existing units, ensuring that residents can stay in their homes.”
The City Council approved an ordinance in June of 2022 establishing the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which, in tandem with an inclusionary zoning policy, is designed to provide the City tools to address the critical issue of housing affordability.”
“We are actively using this important tool to make meaningful investments to help members of our community gain and retain access to housing that is safe and affordable,” said Nicholson, who thanked the members of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund board for their work on moving this initiative forward.
One of the recommendations that came out of the City’s Housing Production Plan was to upgrade existing housing stock that could be accessible to current residents in neighborhoods throughout the City.
“The Affordable Housing Trust Fund is a tool that was looked upon favorably by residents who were involved in the Housing Production Plan process,” said Charles Gaeta, executive director of the Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development. “Having the trust in place complements the work we are doing to increase affordable housing opportunities.”
In conjunction with the establishment of the Affordable Housing Trust, the City hired Sophia Yero as housing program manager. Yero, who holds a bachelor’s and MBA from Florida Atlantic University, is charged with driving positive change through innovative housing solutions.