The Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation joined Virginia Blanchard Memorial Housing Association and Jon Juhl of JNJUHL and Associates to celebrate the grand opening and ribbon cutting for Blanchard School Apartments recently at the Uxbridge Progressive Club.
Built in 1873 as an elementary school and vacant since 2002, the property is named for the beloved local educator Virginia Blanchard, who served as a teacher and principal at the school for 45 years. VBMH and JNJUHL have redeveloped the historic building and added an adjacent annex to create 25 units of affordable rental housing.
Blanchard School Apartments contains a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. All units will be reserved for households with incomes below 60% of area median, and the property will be managed by The Community Builders. With an initial loan in 2013, CEDAC provided more than $300,000 in predevelopment financing, as well as valuable technical assistance, to support this project. Major sources of funding include: Massachusetts Housing Investment ($6.2 million in federal low-income and historic tax credit financing); The Life Initiative ($6 million construction loan); the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) ($1.8 million); MHP ($250,000 permanent loan), and state low-income and historic tax credits ($1.7 million purchased by Unibank).
Additionally, the project received $367,000 through the Community Based Housing program to include two units that provide enhanced accessibility features for households with a member at risk of institutionalization or homelessness as a result of their disability. The development also has a preference for military veterans. CEDAC works with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to manage several supportive housing programs, including CBH.