The Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. (MHIC) is investing approximately $11.5 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity for the rehabilitation of 235 units in Boston.
The investment is split between a multi-investor fund ($8.8 million) and Rockland Trust Bank ($2.6 million).
The Commonwealth and Glenville Apartments are on 17 scattered properties, all on the same city block in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood.
The buildings are about 105 to 110 years old and have been owned by two separate but related companies whose members include the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corp. (ABCDC) and a corporation of elected tenant representatives, the Commonwealth Tenants Council.
The properties were acquired and developed in 1998 using Department of Housing and Urban Development financing that was prepaid by the owners in 2011 and 2013. As part of this refinancing, the current owners are selling the two projects to a single new limited-liability corporation, which will undertake a rehabilitation program and ensure the rental apartments’ long-term affordability.
Rehabilitation of the buildings will include major masonry repairs, maintenance and structural repairs, energy-efficiency and safety upgrades, accessibility and common-area enhancements, and new doors, kitchen and bathroom fixture replacement, and similar work as needed in individual units. Exterior work, such as paving of alleys and walkways, will also be done. The work will commence in August and be completed in September 2016. The total development cost is $56 million.
“In a community that has become very transitory, with even a studio apartment going for almost $2,000 in this neighborhood, keeping these units affordable for low- and moderate-income families is of paramount importance,” said Carol Ridge-Martinez, executive director of ABCDC. “Now that we have this financing in place, we can finally begin the renovation, and we will be able to sustain affordability of these apartments for many more decades.”
Financing for this project, in addition to MHIC’s $11.5 million LIHTC investment, includes Boston Private’s $25.7 million in construction and permanent loans financed through tax-exempt bonds issued by MassDevelopment.
“In a Boston neighborhood, such as this one, where many people have lived for a decade or, in many cases, several decades, it’s essential to preserve affordability, but it’s no easy task, said Joe Flatley, president of MHIC. “We salute Allston-Brighton CDC for taking on this complex and challenging project, and thank all our funding partners, including Rockland Trust, for working with us to make this possible.”