WORCESTER — The City of Worcester announced two initiatives on Wednesday, targeted at amplifying homeownership and capping rental hikes in specific properties.
The city will allocate $1 million in ARPA funds to the Downpayment Assistance Program, where qualified first-time homebuyers can receive up to $25,000. This sum will help cover 3.5% of down payments and certain closing costs. The Worcester Community Housing Resources (WCHR) will administrate the fund.
The city also allocated $1 million from ARPA funds for the Affordable Housing Preservation Program (AHP). Managed by the city’s Housing Division, the program was created in response to the economic and public health aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. With rent costs surging across Worcester and the larger Commonwealth many families find it challenging to meet their financial duties.
“The two new programs come as part of the City’s comprehensive Housing Strategy that has united all of our housing initiatives, including Inclusionary Zoning and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, under one umbrella,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista.