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Harvard Commits Another $20M For Affordable Housing In Greater Boston

Harvard University's Widener Library

One of the world's most prestigious universities is lending a helping hand when it comes to its region’s affordable housing, or lack thereof. 

Through its Harvard Local Housing Collaborative, Harvard University is joining with three local nonprofit lenders and committing $20M for affordable housing creation and preservation. Harvard first launched the program, initially known as 20/20/2000, in 2000 by committing its first $20M in low-interest, flexible loans. That fund has created more than 7,000 units of local affordable housing, the university said.

“Harvard is pleased to renew the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative. We are proud to be part of a community where partners from across Greater Boston come together to strengthen the region and address the urgent need for quality, affordable housing,” Harvard President Larry Bacow said Monday in a prepared statement. “We are grateful to all of our partners for their support and their efforts to increase access to homeownership and promote fair and equitable access to housing.”

The renewal guarantees funding for at least two more decades, according to the university. 

Projects that have utilized Harvard’s affordable housing funding in the past include affordable apartments, cooperative housing, assisted living for low-income seniors, first-time home buyer opportunities, artists lofts and shelters. 

Monday’s announcement comes as leaders across Massachusetts grapple with how to boost affordable housing production

Cambridge is considering a new zoning law that would expedite the planning and approval process for affordable housing developments. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has stated a goal of 69,000 new affordable units by 2030.