Massachusetts Awarded $3.2 Million for Affordable Housing


Amherst, Boston, Haverhill, Hull, Plymouth, and Worcester Initiatives Will Create 252 Rental and Ownership Units

BOSTON, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ — The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (the Bank) awarded $3.2 million in grants, loans, and rate subsidies to fund 252 units of affordable housing in Amherst, Boston, Haverhill, Hull, Plymouth, and Worcester. In all, 25 New England initiatives received more than $16 million in grants, loans, and rate subsidies as part of the Bank’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to create or preserve 674 rental and ownership units for very low-, low-, and moderate-income individuals and families.

Each year, the Bank sets aside 10 percent of its net profits to provide grants and subsidized, below market-rate loans through the AHP. “Regardless of the economy, AHP funds always provide a welcome boost for affordable housing initiatives,” said Michael A. Jessee, the Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “Safe, decent, affordable housing is essential for everyone, and the Bank is proud to contribute to the well-being of the region.”

“Preserving existing affordable housing units as well as increasing our affordable housing stock is particularly important here because the cost of housing remains high,” stated Congressman Mike Capuano. “I thank the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston for their efforts to make this funding available.”

AHP funds are used to create or preserve affordable housing and help pay construction, acquisition, or rehabilitation costs. Member financial institutions work with local developers to apply for AHP funding, awarded twice a year through a competitive scoring process. The application deadline for the first round of next year’s AHP awards is April 18, 2008.

The mission of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston is to support the residential-mortgage and community-development lending activities of its members, which include over 450 financial institutions across New England. To accomplish its mission, the Bank utilizes private-sector capital to provide members and other qualified customers with reliable access to low-cost wholesale funds, liquidity, a competitive outlet for the sale of loans, special lending programs, technical assistance, and other products and services.

Information on the awards follows, and is also available at
Location: Amherst
Member: Easthampton Savings Bank
Sponsor: Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity
Number and Type of Units: 2 ownership units
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $59,922 grant
Amherst College — Habitat Partnership Phase 1. Construction of two
energy-efficient homes to provide ownership opportunities for two very
low-income, first-time home buyers. As an element of Amherst College’s
Civic Engagement Initiative, the sponsor is working with the students,
staff, and faculty to build these single-family homes on land donated by
Amherst College. This initiative is the first of two phases to build four
green, single-family homes. Home buyers will provide sweat equity and
benefit from homeownership counseling and daycare services. Easthampton
Savings Bank is providing a construction line of credit.

Location: Boston
Member: First Trade Union Bank
Sponsor: Urban Edge Housing Corporation
Number and Type of Units: 103 rental units
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $400,000 grant
Jamaica Plain Apartments. Significant rehabilitation of an existing
103-unit scattered-site initiative for families earning at or below 50
percent of area median income. The sponsor will provide extensive
services, including employment and homeownership training and
participation on a residents’ council. Additionally, the rehabilitation
will incorporate high-performance, energy-efficient elements, making the
project more sustainable. The initiative is a major preservation project
to provide long-term housing affordability in Boston. First Trade Union
Bank will provide the permanent financing, and other funders include the
City of Boston, MassHousing, Massachusetts Department of Housing and
Community Development, and sponsor equity.

Location: Boston
Member: Wainwright Bank & Trust Company
Sponsor: Hope House, Inc.
Number and Type of Units: 102 rental units
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $400,000 grant
Hope House. Construction of an energy-efficient, 80-bed facility for men
recovering from alcohol and substance abuse, with an adjacent 22-room
single-room-occupancy property in the Newmarket Industrial Area of lower
Roxbury. This initiative will replace the oldest operating treatment
facility in Massachusetts and provide a next step toward independent
living for residents who successfully complete the rehabilitation program.
The programs target individuals earning below 50 percent of area median
income. Able residents will be expected to obtain gainful employment.
Operation of the recovery home will be supported with funding through the
Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. The
graduate facility will receive subsidy through the Massachusetts Rental
Voucher Program. Wainwright Bank & Trust Company will provide the
permanent financing, and other funding commitments include HOME,
Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development funds, and
various green grants.

Location: Haverhill
Member: Haverhill Bank
Sponsor: YMCA of the North Shore
Number and Type of Units: 22 rental units
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $716,843 grant and subsidy, $826,500 advance
Wadleigh House. Rehabilitation of an existing 22-unit,
single-room-occupancy property to provide permanent housing for very
low-income individuals. The sponsor will refinance its existing
acquisition loan and use the equity proceeds for this substantial
rehabilitation. The rehabilitation will include adding kitchens and baths
to all units, upgrading the fire-suppression systems, expanding the third
floor, and adding an elevator. The sponsor has a strong partnership with
Community Action, Inc. to serve seven homeless individuals and offer
economic empowerment services to all residents. Haverhill Bank will
provide financial literacy training as well as the permanent financing
through the AHP-subsidized advance. Additional funding includes grants
from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Affordable Housing Trust Fund and
Housing Stabilization Fund.

Location: Hull
Member: Rockland Trust Company
Sponsor: Wellspring Multi Service Center
Number and Type of Units: 6 rental units
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $65,000 grant
Hand In Hand. Acquisition and minor renovation of a two-family home to
create five single-room-occupancy units and a one-bedroom in-law apartment
for very low-income, homeless households. Wellspring will provide
residents with services to bring about economic self-sufficiency,
including financial literacy, ESL, and GED training. A residents’ council
will also be established. Should the owner decide to sell the property at
the end of the 15-year retention period, it will offer Neighborhood
Housing Services of the South Shore the right of first refusal to maintain
affordability. The Rockland Trust Company funded the acquisition.

Location: Plymouth
Member: Bridgewater Savings Bank
Sponsor: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth
Number and Type of Units: 1 ownership unit
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $30,000 grant
Braley Road Solar Project. Construction of a three-bedroom home for a
first-time home buyer earning less than 50 percent of area median income.
The buyer has taken courses in financial training and will complete a
first-time home buyer course. The family will also be required to
participate in the construction of the home in the form of sweat equity.
The Massachusetts Technology Coalition will provide a grant for the
installation of radiant floor heating and photovoltaic panels that will
result in a 40 to 50 percent energy savings. The land was donated by the
Town of Plymouth. Bridgewater Savings Bank is providing a $10,000 grant,
and Habitat fundraising comprises the remainder of the funding.

Location: Worcester
Member: Framingham Co-operative Bank
Sponsor: South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Incorporated (SMOC)
Number and Type of Units: 16 rental units
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $340,305 grant and subsidy, $350,000 advance
Dayton Street. Acquisition and rehabilitation of a building built in 1890
to create 16 single-room-occupancy units of permanent housing for very
low-income homeless individuals. The sponsor will provide a service-rich
environment to help the residents become self sufficient. Residents will
be required to work at the property and will have the opportunity to
participate in a crime watch organization. The initiative is integral to
the city’s plan for dealing with homelessness. The rehabilitation will
include high-performance, energy-efficient elements for energy savings.
Framingham Co-operative Bank is providing the permanent financing through
the AHP-subsidized advance, and additional funding includes a grant from
the Massachusetts Housing Innovation Fund.
SOURCE Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston

© 2007 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.


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