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Lynn and Saugus will put federal funds to work

BOSTON — Housing authorities in Lynn and Saugus are getting a boost in federal funding to build, repair and renovate local public housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) announced more than $88 million awarded to public housing authorities in Massachusetts Friday through its Capital Fund Program.

Lynn will receive $1,253,464. Saugus will receive $204,576.

“This funding will assist Massachusetts public housing agencies as they work to provide the best housing possible for their residents,” said David Tille, HUD New England regional administrator.

The Capital Fund Program gives an annual influx in funding to around 2,900 public housing authorities in the U.S. The money allocated to Massachusetts is part of $2.7 billion awarded nationally this year.

Funds are used to build or improve public housing facilities, as well as modernize the facilities with large-scale improvements, including energy upgrades and the replacement of roofs, plumbing and electric systems.

Another HUD program, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), complements the Capital Fund Program by providing a comprehensive strategy to “preserve and enhance the country’s affordable housing stock” by leveraging public and private funding for public housing, according to a statement from HUD.

Since 2011, when RAD was founded, it has generated “significant additional capital” and 130,000 public housing units have been converted to “a more sustainable” Section 8 financing platform, according to HUD. Also in that time, public housing authorities have generated over $8.6 billion for public housing replacement and preservation, as well as to support local jobs, without additional federal resources.

Federal officials in January announced an initiative to fight homelessness that included $2 million in aid to Lynn and Peabody organizations.

The federal Housing and Urban Development money will be directed to a broad range of services, including permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence.

The money, according to a statement released from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office, will also pay to help connect individuals at risk of experiencing homelessness with support and services and identify local service and housing needs.

“Everyone deserves a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home, and this new federal funding will go a long way toward realizing this basic right for families and individuals in Massachusetts who are experiencing homelessness — while also ensuring residents at risk of experiencing homelessness have access to assistance to prevent homelessness,” Warren said in the statement.

The federal funding breakdown provided in the statement listed Peabody-based Bridgewell, Lynn Shelter Association, Lynn Economic Opportunity and the substance abuse treatment program, Project COPE affiliated with Bridgewell, as major recipients of the $2 million in local money.

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