Greater Worcester Community Foundation will provide Worcester Community Housing Resources with a $1 million low interest line of credit to support much needed housing initiatives in Worcester County.

The announcement was made at 67-69 Petersham Road in Hardwick, MA, where Worcester Community Housing Resources will use the first advance of the funds to create affordable housing for three local families. Board and staff members from WCHR and GWCF joined the developers to tour the property and view ongoing renovations.

Worcester Community Housing Resources has a proven track record of revitalizing previously blighted or rundown properties into affordable housing that serves the surrounding community. When organizations like Greater Worcester Community Foundation partner with WCHR, we are able to take action and address critical housing needs efficiently and effectively.

- Jennifer Schanck-Bolwell, Executive Director, Worcester Community Housing Resources

According to Worcester County Insights, 29% of housing units in Hardwick are housing cost burdened, meaning that the residents spend more than 30% of their income on rental or ownership costs. As a rural community, Hardwick has very few rental units available, and even fewer affordable units for low-income families. 67-69 Petersham Road will be renovated to create three affordable units for local families, in an area of town that primarily consists of large single-family homes.

The $1 million line of credit is the first of its kind and the start of a new focus on affordable housing for Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Because the funding comes as a line of credit from the Foundation, the funds will be reinvested back into the community in the future by WCHR to support the financing of new affordable housing projects.

Affordable housing is a big challenge in Worcester County. It requires creative solutions that go well beyond traditional foundation grantmaking. By providing WCHR with a low-interest line of credit, we can offer more resources and have a greater impact.

- Pete Dunn, President & CEO, Greater Worcester Community Foundation

The revitalization of 67-69 Petersham Road will utilize approximately $351,000 of the credit line, and the remainder is available to be used for future WCHR housing projects. Construction at Petersham Road is currently underway and is expected to be completed by September 2024.