Fox Town Hall 3-15-18

Foxboro Town Hall.

Foxboro, Mansfield and Norfolk have each been awarded state grants in the $220,000-plus range for housing related expenses.

Foxboro is earmarked for $247,000 to fund the design of a sewer extension to the future site of 250 new housing units on 16 acres owned by the Foxboro Housing Authority (FHA) at the corner of Walnut Street and Route 140 from the existing sewer main. Funding will also support the planning and design of transportation improvements at the intersection of Commercial Street (Route 140) at Walnut Street.

Mansfield’s $236,880 grant will make improvements to a multi-purpose trail from Samoset Avenue along a portion of North Main Street to Old Colony Way, ending at Thomas Street and the pedestrian bridge over Route 106. The work will provide access between new housing and commercial stores to the MBTA commuter rail station.

And Norfolk is slated for a $224,000 grant that will fund the preparation of a wastewater master plan for Norfolk Center to evaluate the existing wastewater treatment plant for expansion, prepare a wastewater collection system plan, and prepare wastewater master plan. The effort will review the required permitting to leverage unused sewer capacity and potentially extend sewer lines to encourage new development at vacate sites and increased development in areas that have capacity for more density.

At a ceremony Thursday in Brockton attended by local legislators and officials, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and other state officials announced the awards as part of $5 million in grants to 30 communities.

Just over $4 million is for the three Attleboro area towns and 17 others under the Housing Choice initiative.

The Housing Choice Community Capital Grant Program funds infrastructure improvements in communities that have shown commitment to advancing sustainable housing production.

Launched by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2017 to increase housing, the Housing Choice initiative includes technical assistance and a community designation with access to capital grant programs and preferential treatment for other grants. The goal is to support 135,000 new housing units by 2025.

Foxboro, Mansfield and Norfolk have all received the Housing Choice Designation which recognizes communities that have met goals towards implementing housing best practices and/or met specific housing production goals.

“As we work to address the housing crisis, we are proud to recognize the communities that are pursuing policies that will produce new housing to meet the needs of residents and employers,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said.

“New housing means our business owners can continue to find a talented workforce, our Main Street retailers can find new customers, and our communities on the whole can grow more vibrant. We need more housing in places that make sense—near public transit, in walkable downtowns.”

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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