National Investment for Historic Preservation Builds New Affordable Housing

March 22, 2017



The Waterfront Historic Area League (WHALE) has just been granted its second national award from the 1772 Foundation. The $92,000 grant will increase WHALE’s Revolving Loan Fund used to restore bricks and mortar development in New Bedford. Supported projects include 149 Allen St., a two-family historic house now being fully restored by late April. The house will be sold to an income-eligible first-time homebuyer through the City’s “Neighborhood First” Program.

The 1772 Foundation, based in Newport, RI, plays a leading role in promoting historic properties redevelopment programs (HPRPs), also known as revolving funds, nationwide.  WHALE received the second largest award in the country for its dedication to active real estate intervention.  Mary Anthony, Executive Director of 1772, explains “Our recipients partner with local stakeholders to work on issues of economic and community development, equitable housing, Smart Growth, and land conservation, to name a few. Their entrepreneurial approach means our grantees are saving more historic buildings than ever before.”

WHALE uses its Revolving Loan Fund to address the national challenges of affordable housing. “Historic preservation has always been a powerful revitalization tool in New Bedford so this became a natural direction we have taken with projects,” says Teri Bernert, Executive Director. Through their Neighborhood Restoration Program, other sites are under construction and expected to be completed by the end of the year including the restoration of First Baptist Church,  Howland House, a 7-unit mansion converted into workforce housing and 318 Pleasant St, a three-family house that will also be sold to a first-time homebuyer.

For more information regarding eligibility and the lottery process for 149 Allen St, call WHALE at (508) 997-1776 to be added to a notification list.