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South Boston's Old Colony Named Best Affordable-Housing Project

Affordable housing projects can be impressive. Take for example the redevelopment projects presented in the magazine Affordable Housing Finance, which recently had readers pick the best redevelopment projects. A South Boston redevelopment project took top accolades as the "Best Urban Project," beating out 140 other projects, reports Boston.com.

The project is the Old Colony redevelopment project in South Boston. It is a green-living affordable housing project currently in its first phase of development.

Initially, the redevelopment involved demolishing 164 units, writes Boston.com.

The units were then replaced with the construction of new mid-rise units and townhouses. A community center is also in the works.

Affordable housing programs are government-subsidized housing programs, aimed at assisting those in financial need to obtain housing. While many affordable housing projects are privately owned, the funding is available through the government, provided that the developers follow certain guidelines.

Some of these guidelines include dedicating a particular portion of the overall project to the construction of affordable units for a period of time.

According to Boston's Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, many of these affordable units are set to expire soon. With maturing mortgages and time limits expiring on the affordable-use restrictions, efforts are being made in and around Boston to preserve low income housing units, before they convert to market-rate housing units.

In the current economic climate, the need for affordable housing is more important than ever. Those who pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing are deemed to be cost-burdened and may be eligible for housing assistance, depending on the circumstances.

But many don't realize that they are even eligible for housing assistance. That is why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has information on its website discussing the various programs available. Affordable housing programs include assistance not only for renters, but also for first-time home buyers.

There are several programs available for those looking for housing assistance. Here's a list of Massachusetts affordable housing programs.

While each program has different requirements, the HUD website is a place to start figuring out if you qualify for assistance. And if you're lucky enough to live in a housing project like Old Colony, you've really hit a goldmine.

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