SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Ed Augustus toured Springfield housing projects Thursday as part of a statewide housing production tour aimed at improving affordable housing in the city.
In May, former Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. was appointed as Bay States first housing secretary. Just a few months in, he is battling a housing crisis across the Commonwealth.
“We know rents are going up faster than wages are going up in many parts of the state so we need clean healthy housing but it needs to be affordable, it needs to be accessible for folks of all income ranges,” said Augustus.
According to the National Low Income Coalition, the state is short over 175,000 affordable homes and apartments to rent.
Along with other dignitaries including Mayor Domenic Sarno and MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay, Augustus toured three stops in Springfield throughout the afternoon to see progress on affordable housing within the city at the Skyview Springfield, ThirtyOne Elm, and Mason Square Apartments.
Augustus told 22News that he expects the 31 Elm Street location across from City Hall to be open potentially by the end of the year and he’s excited for what it will mean.
“I always love, as a former City Manager, when you can see historic buildings come back to life and what that means for a character of a community and for the vitality,” said Augustus.
The 31 Elm Street location will not only have apartments but retail as well when construction is eventually complete.
Governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency as the shelter system in Massachusetts reached its capacity for migrants. The governor says they are adding shelters every week, and currently seeking federal funding to create more space but it’s getting difficult to meet the demand.
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