City Officials Have Eyes on New Housing Development:State-Approved Financing Plan Aimed at Attracting Developers

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The untapped potential for redevelopment of the Lynn waterfront and opportunities to continue to redevelop downtown Lynn are the major focuses of city officials looking to take advantage of a state-approved program that seeks to boost development of market-rate housing in Gateway Cities like Lynn.

The Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) is a relatively new program approved by the state legislature in October 2014, which seeks to leverage state investment tax credits and local property tax exemptions to lure developers to Gateway Cities.

As one of the state’s 26 approved Gateway Cities, Lynn is attempting to use the financing measures to encourage outside developers to come to the city with plans build or redevelop existing, underutilized parcels.

The tax credits and property tax exemptions are eligible to be applied to projects that include “major redevelopment, repair and renovation of existing properties” or for limited new construction such as “construction of upper stories, expansion of a building’s footprint or redevelopment of a site after demolition,” according to the Department of Housing and Community development website.

Lynn State Representative Brendan Crighton noted that, “housing stock diversity is crucial for the success of gateway cities like Lynn,” especially since Lynn and other Gateway Cities already attract plenty of developers who are interested in expanding affordable housing.

While the city has been focused in recent years on increasing activity in the downtown and waterfront neighborhoods, as well as the neighborhoods that abut them, one of the key elements of increasing activity is improving the neighborhoods as places to live.

Development is often viewed as risky in urban centers. The use of the HDIP in Lynn would help to reassure developers by reducing that risk.

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