NEW BEDFORD — A new initiative from the city of New Bedford will offer support for large-scale housing projects with affordable units, city officials announced Friday.

Mayor Jon Mitchell said the Housing Expansion Initative, funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, will provide between $250,000 and $2 million to developers building new mixed-income housing in New Bedford.

The initiative will support large-scale housing projects that cost $5 million or more.

Projects are also required to create new units for households with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income in order to qualify for funding.

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Eligible projects must either be mixed-income, mixed-use, or an adaptive reuse of vacant properties.

“This initiative will help quality housing projects get over the finish line,” said Mitchell.

“In doing so, it will help to address pressing housing needs, spur economic development and enliven neighborhoods.”

The program is the second funded through ARPA, which provided New Bedford with $64.7 million in federal COVID relief.

The first ARPA-funded program in New Bedford was a façade improvement program for storefronts that was announced earlier this week.

Projects will be prioritized if they are "shovel-ready," or fully permitted and ready to start construction, but demonstrate a financial need, city officials noted in the announcement.

Affordable one-bedroom units in the program would have a rent cap of $818 per month including utilities, while a one-person household would have an income cap of $35,340.

“It’s no secret that we have a serious housing shortage in our community, especially housing that’s affordable for our working and middle-class families,” City Council President Ian Abreu said.

“Programs like these coming to fruition, thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act funds, will go a long way to ensure that no family or resident, especially our children and seniors, will ever go homeless here in the City of New Bedford.”

“Housing is the foundation for family wellbeing,” City Councilor Shane Burgo said. “Our City will benefit greatly from the increased housing stock, especially affordable/low-income units.”

The program’s application deadline is May 16.

For more information or to download an application, visit

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