Worcester, Massachusetts: Courthouse Lofts Preserve History and Add Mixed-Income Housing in the Downtown

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD User publishes a series of case studies based on federal, state, and local strategies that increase affordable housing opportunities and support sustainable community development. The projects and community development efforts featured in these reports have demonstrated innovation through a multitude of partnerships and initiatives.

In recent years, Worcester, Massachusetts, has sought to revitalize its downtown through the adaptive reuse of historic assets as mixed-use spaces that include needed affordable housing. The former Worcester County Courthouse, an iconic structure that served the community since the mid-19th century but had been vacant since 2007, was converted into Courthouse Lofts in 2021. Courthouse Lofts offers housing opportunities for residents with a wide range of incomes while preserving historically significant elements of the building’s exterior and interior. Common spaces and amenities inside the massive complex honor the structure’s historic use as a courthouse. Courthouse Lofts received a 2022 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award from the Urban Land Institute for its innovative adaptive reuse of a historic asset that preserves mixed-income affordable housing.

Visit HUD User’s Case Studies page to learn more about affordable housing and to view other innovative community revitalization strategies.

Posted July 19, 2023

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