Last week, the Massachusetts Legislature voted to allocate $15 million for the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund in the Commonwealth’s Supplemental Budget.
“The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is a vital resource for communities across Massachusetts as residents seek to clean up polluted sites in their neighborhoods and transform them into places where people can live, work and play,” commented MACDC’s President Joe Kriesberg. “$15 million is a strong start toward fully recapitalizing the Fund. We look forward to working with the legislature over the coming months to secure additional funding to keep cleaning up the Commonwealth.”
The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is designed to support the cleanup of vacant or underutilized properties where environmental contamination prevents development or reuse, by providing both interest-free financing for environmental assessments and flexible loans for the environmental cleanup. Since the Fund was created by the Legislature in 1998, it has made 630 individual awards, totaling over $78 million. Over the past five years alone, the Fund supported the creation of 2,551 homes, 2,242 construction jobs, and an additional 2,191 jobs, expected to be created by fund borrowers. The fund was fully depleted in June, 2013.
As of April 2013, MassDevelopment had 26 projects that will receive funding only if the Fund is recapitalized. MACDC and its allies seek a total of $60 million to fully recapitalize the fund, even if it takes more than one year to achieve this level.