Published in the October 19, 2018 edition

MELROSE – On Oct. 11, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $5 million in awards to 31 communities throughout the Commonwealth through two new grant programs under the Housing Choice Initiative. The Housing Choice Initiative, introduced by Governor Charlie Baker in December 2017, is a comprehensive effort to support the creation of 135,000 new housing units by 2025 to meet the housing needs of Massachusetts’s families, workforce and residents. The Housing Choice Initiative provides incentives, rewards and technical assistance reform to encourage and empower municipalities to plan and build the diverse housing stock that the Commonwealth needs to continue to thrive.  

“Melrose is known as a great place to live, but we have also worked hard to develop affordable housing so we can remain a diverse community,” said Mayor Gail Infurna. “I am grateful that the Housing Choice initiative has recognized our efforts and is helping us to achieve our goals. Housing is the number one problem facing families in the Commonwealth, and it is an important issue for us here in Melrose.”  

“I am delighted that Melrose is able to take advantage of this state funding to improve access to affordable housing in our communities,” said Senator Jason Lewis. “Investing in capital access improvements in Melrose will help keep our seniors in our community.”  

“One of the greatest things about the City of Melrose is its walkability. These state funds I was proud to support in the budget will go a long way in ensuring safe pedestrian access to one of our busiest neighborhoods,” said State Representative Paul Brodeur. 

The City of Melrose will use the $168,000 grant to make safety and accessibility improvements, including ADA accessibility upgrades to Cherry Street, an important east-west thoroughfare in Melrose. Cherry Street provides a major connection between the Main Street downtown and business area and points west, especially for the elderly population living in and around the new assisted living facility on Essex Street.

“Our administration is focused on developing a healthy housing market for Massachusetts’ long-term success, with diverse housing options that are affordable for families and residents across the income spectrum,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Housing Choice Initiative is a bold, multi-pronged effort to address the issue, from legislation to grant programs. We are thrilled to celebrate another Housing Choice milestone, and continue to look for opportunities to partner with municipalities to further our shared goals of an inclusive Commonwealth that meets the needs of our residents, and enables them to thrive.”  

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Janelle Chan, Melrose Mayor Gail Infurna, Senator Jason Lewis, Representative Paul Brodeur, MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay and local leaders to celebrate the grant program.