Welcome to the Taunton HOPE VI Website
On May 20, 2011, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development selected Fairfax Gardens as one of eight nationwide recipients of the HOPE VI Grant. HOPE VI Revitalization grants fund the costs of major rehabilitation, new construction, and other physical improvements; demolition of severely distressed public housing; management improvements; planning and technical assistance; and community and supportive service programs for residents.
Built in 1951, Fairfax Gardens was a 150-unit public housing development in the middle of a low density, single-family neighborhood. The development’s infrastructure, utilities, and many building components were original to the site and were outdated and in need of complete replacement. The buildings were neither energy-efficient nor accessible; the units were cramped and much smaller than current space standards dictate; and mold, pests, and deteriorated finishes were problems throughout. The distressed conditions at Fairfax Gardens not only negatively impacts residents’ health and quality of life, they had also brought down the property values of nearby homes.
There are four key goals for the Fairfax Gardens HOPE VI revitalization plan: (1) Decrease the concentration of very low income households on the Fairfax Gardens site; (2) Incur no net loss of affordable housing; (3) Develop new mixed-income communities both on-site and off-site that will spur other investment in the surrounding areas; and (4) Increase opportunities to provide services and stable housing to vulnerable populations.
To accomplish these goals, all 150 units at Fairfax Gardens were be demolished, and 88 “green”, mixed-income, townhome units will be built on-site. The original community center on-site will be replaced. New streets, as well as bike and pedestrian paths, will be built reconnecting the site to the surrounding community and providing clear street addresses and front and back yards for all units, which replicate the fabric of the neighborhood.
An additional 72 “green,” mixed-income units will be developed off-site a mile away in the downtown area on a vacant lot, known as Parcel 6A, adjacent to the Greater Attleboro/Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) bus terminal. The site is located in a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay District, which allows for residents to live in a denser, urban environment and supports the City’s on-going revitalization of its downtown area into a vibrant mixed-use, walkable environment for employees, shoppers, and new residents.
In addition to the rental units, a Loan to Purchaser program will provide 30 soft second mortgages, for first time homebuyers below 80% of area median income (AMI). After careful consideration of the local market conditions of new for-sale homes at Fairfax Gardens, and reviewing the foreclosure problems in the City, THA decided that the best use of its resources was to help residents purchase existing homes.
To ensure the long-term viability of HUD’s investment and to help Fairfax Gardens’ residents enhance their economic self-sufficiency, THA has developed a comprehensive Community and Supportive Services (CSS) program that builds on THA’s existing resident service and case management programs. THA is currently providing on-site case management to Fairfax Gardens’ residents and will expand this program with new partners and services that are newly generated for the HOPE VI grant activities.
THA has assembled an exceptionally experienced HOPE VI team to implement the redevelopment effort through a national competitive process.