ATTLEBORO - Developers in Gateway Cities like Attleboro can now apply for special tax breaks for building large housing projects.

The provision is contained in a new economic development bill the governor signed this week.

The new law doubles the size of the annual tax credit pool from $5 million to $10 million for the housing over the next four years, and allows larger developments to qualify by eliminating the 50-market-rate unit per project cap.

Gateway Cities are small- and medium-size communities with lower income and higher unemployment than the state average.

A number of programs are designed to help spur growth in those cities, including Attleboro.

The administration has been pushing the cities to redevelop empty industrial buildings into housing.

"Housing is one of the cornerstones of a growing economy," Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki said Friday in a news release.

"Expanding this program is part of our overall strategy to accelerate housing development and transform these communities into great places to live, work, and play."

Bialecki said the agency is now accepting applications for the program.

Gary Ayrassian, Attleboro's director of planning and development, said the city intends to participate and will file a zone plan with the state in the near future.

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