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DHCD Helps Affordable Housing Production and Preservation Across Massachusetts to Move Forward Despite Public Health Crisis

In October, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the 2020 Affordable Rental Housing Awards. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will provide more than $105.7 million in direct funding and $53 million in state and federal tax credits for the production or preservation of more than 2,400 housing units, including 2,166 affordable rental units to 28 projects in 19 communities across the Commonwealth. These housing developments will serve our most vulnerable residents, including those who have experienced the greatest risk to their health, safety, and livelihoods as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. We congratulate our partners at DHCD for their seamless work to maintain the production of affordable housing during the pandemic.

Public health experts have long identified housing as a key social determinant of health. The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated this relationship, as we’ve seen very low case rates in affordable housing developments located in heavily impacted communities such as Revere and Chelsea. Stable, affordable housing, such as The Neighborhood Developers’ 181 Chestnut project, prevents the crowded conditions that contribute to the spread of infectious disease. In addition, the supportive services and other resources provided by non-profit housing developers help vulnerable residents stabilize in their housing and prevent evictions. Newly funded projects such as Pine Street Inn/The Community Builders’ 3368 Washington Street will help to ensure that residents with a history of chronic homelessness receive case management and other supports to remain safely housed. CEDAC has committed acquisition and/or predevelopment financing to both of these important projects, as well as nine others listed below.

  • Anchor Point I is the first phase of a two-phase new construction project by Harborlight Community Partners in Beverly. Anchor Point I will offer 38 affordable units to households earning less than 60 percent of Annual Median Income (AMI), with ten units restricted for extremely low-income households earning less than 30 percent of AMI. CEDAC made available $3 million in acquisition funding and $1.1 million in predevelopment financing for the project.
  • 250 Centre Street, a new construction project in Boston’s Jackson Square neighborhood, is sponsored by The Community Builders (TCB). 250 Centre Street is a 110-unit, mixed-income development, with 56 units affordable to those earning less than 60 percent of AMI. Fifteen units will be dedicated to extremely low-income households, including eleven who are transitioning out of homelessness. CEDAC provided $2 million in acquisition and $250,000 in predevelopment financing to TCB for the project.
  • 3368 Washington Street is a new mixed-income development, also in Jamaica Plain, sponsored by Pine Street Inn, Inc. and The Community Builders. The project will bring 202 new units to the neighborhood, with 156 permanent supportive housing units targeted to chronically homeless individuals earning less than 30 percent of AMI. CEDAC has provided a $550,000 predevelopment loan for the project.
  • Four Corners Plaza is a new construction project by Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. The development will produce 35 affordable units, eight of which will be restricted to extremely low-income individuals or families earning less than 30 percent of AMI and transitioning out of homelessness. CEDAC provided $1.1 million in predevelopment financing for the project.
  • Walando Homes is an affordable housing preservation project in both and Mattapan, also sponsored by Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. Fifty-nine units on Orlando and Waldeck Streets will be rehabilitated and operated as affordable housing.  15 units will be reserved for extremely low-income households. CEDAC provided $1.6 million in acquisition and $1.2 million in predevelopment funding for the project.
  • 181 Chestnut in Chelsea will convert existing market-rate housing into a mixed-income development, with 22 units becoming affordable and eight of the 22 reserved for extremely low-income families or individuals. Ten units will remain available as market rate. CEDAC and its lending partner, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), committed $8.5 million in acquisition financing to this transit-oriented development to The Neighborhood Developers (TND), as well as more than $200,000 in a predevelopment loan.
  • Holbrook Center Senior Housing will construct 72 new age-restricted units near Holbrook’s town center. This NeighborWorks Housing Solutions project will provide 70 units of supportive housing, with 18 of those units reserved for extremely low-income residents. CEDAC has made available $800,000 in predevelopment financing for this supportive housing project.
  • Island Parkside Phase 1 in Lawrence is a new construction project sponsored by Lawrence Community Works. Forty new affordable units will include 16 units reserved for extremely low-income households earning less than 30 percent of AMI. CEDAC provided more than $3 million and more than $218,000 in acquisition and predevelopment loans, respectively.
  • Elias Brookings School Apartments in Springfield is an adaptive re-use of the former Brookings School, which will result in 42 new units of affordable housing for families, 14 of which will be restricted to extremely low-income families. CEDAC provided the project’s sponsor, Home City Development, with $215,000 in acquisition and $935,000 in predevelopment funding.
  • Sunderland Senior Housing is a new construction project in the Western Massachusetts community of Sunderland. Rural Development, Inc. and Valley Community Development Corporation (Valley CDC) will develop 33 age-restricted units, all of which will be affordable, with 12 units restricted for extremely low-income households. CEDAC made $875,000 in predevelopment financing available for the project.
  • Grand Street Commons, a new construction project in Worcester sponsored by Main South Community Development Corporation, will create 48 new rental units, 46 of which will be affordable. Ten of those 46 units will be set aside for extremely low-income individuals or families earning less than 30 percent of AMI. CEDAC committed $900,000 in acquisition and $974,000 in predevelopment funding for the project.

In total, CEDAC has contributed $8.3 million in predevelopment funding and $19.3 million in acquisition financing for these eleven projects located across the state from Boston to Springfield.  We offer congratulations to our non-profit community development partners, for whom we serve as a financial and technical resource, especially during these challenging times. Access to stable housing is a key strategy to helping families secure a stronger economic future for themselves – and a critical element in the public health emergency we face. We are proud to be DHCD’s partner in advancing the production and preservation of these affordable housing projects. You can read more about the 2020 Affordable Rental Housing Awards on DHCD’s website.

Pictured above: a rendering of Pine Street Inn/The Community Builders’ 3368 Washington Street project in Jamaica Plain, which received funding from DHCD’s 2020 Affordable Rental Housing Awards. The new development will help to ensure that residents with a history of chronic homelessness receive case management and other supports to remain safely housed. Rendering credit: RODE Architects

Categories: CEDAC, Housing

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