Skip to main content

Franklin - Local Town Pages

Touching Base with the TA

Franklin Ridge Funding

In January, the Town of Franklin was awarded $8.5 million in grant funding for the Franklin Ridge Senior Housing project, which will be funded by $2.5 million from the Low-Income Federal Tax Credit (LIFTC) and $6 million from other state Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities’ subsidies, according to Town Administrator Jamie Hellen. The project was one of 26 housing projects in 19 Massachusetts communities slated to receive the affordable housing funding. 

“Generally speaking, it’s kind of a potpourri of funding sources, including a variety of state programs, federal subsidies and additional tax credits and breaks,” says Hellen. “It’s not like we’re going to get a check in the mail; it’s a reimbursement-based system. As those costs accrue over the next several years. The state is committing that money through a variety of sources.”

Hellen explains that a lot needs to be coordinated for a municipal housing project like Franklin Ridge.

“Unlike the private sector, projects sponsored by the government are, generally speaking, relying on a whole series of grants and tax subsidies to be able to fund them There’s a lot to be coordinated. It takes years,” says the Town Administrator.

Hellen has some praise for Healey’s administration streamlining access to federal funds for towns.

“I think Governor Healey has done a great job setting up a federal liaison in her office, Quentin Palfrey (Director of Federal Funds and Infrastructure) to try to leverage strategies to access federal funds. I thought it was a great strategy – what can the state invest in to get more federal dollars. It takes a lot of work. It’s thankless, and it’s uncertain. In this case … obviously, the return on investment was there. If they had not created this office to try to strategize on how to maximize federal dollars, we would not be in this position to access that money,” says Hellen. 

Franklin has a consultant, John Juhl, working to coordinate the paperwork that comes with the various sources of these funds, says Hellen. 

Hellen explains that roads and sewers will lay the foundation for Franklin Ridge, and Juhl will lay groundwork with paperwork this year to access specific grants for that, as well. 

“We have enough funding now to build the road, the drainage, and the infrastructure,” says Hellen, “We’re doing that this year, and then we would hope that grant money we just received would go to build some of that (Franklin Ridge) structure in 2025 and 2026.

“We will have more details as they become available. I suspect when we have a Franklin Ridge presentation update later this spring, we will get a better understanding of how this all works and the timeline,” says Hellen.

March 6 Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting

Hellen urges anyone interested in the town budget and school finance to tune in to this meeting. 

“That will start a three-month budget process,” says Hellen. Attendees, he says, are “going to see some pretty extreme numbers relating to the school district and what they need to maintain services. That’s just the preliminary budget model, not the budget that will be proposed, but where the wish list is at.”