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28 new affordable units created in Falmouth; possible on-site jobs for tenants

Posted on March 25, 2002

FALMOUTH --- The Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund took part in opening ceremonies of the Gifford Street Housing and Human Services Campus recently.

MHP provided the bulk of the project’s long-term permanent financing, $1.8 million out of a total of $2.2 million. “We very much wanted to do this,” said Deputy Director and General Counsel Judy Jacobson before the March 21 opening ceremony. “This was about building new affordable housing units.”

MHP’s role was to provide a quick answer on the permanent financing. Falmouth Housing Authority Executive Director Robert Murray approached MHP with the proposal in the spring of 2000 and received a commitment by July.

The campus features 28 units of new affordable housing, spread across seven buildings. Clients of the state’s Department of Mental Retardation will occupy approximately 10 of the units. The campus will also be the home of the Falmouth Service Center, which operates the town’s food pantry and recycling center. It’s hoped that some of the campus residents will work at the service center.

Future plans for the site include a gym that will serve as the home of the local Police Athletic League youth programs.

“This is a completion of a dream,” said Murray.  “It’s nice to bring all these agencies together.”

Murray is largely credited with putting the campus together. It was his idea to link the missions of the Falmouth Housing Corporation and the Falmouth Service Center together and put them on one site. Murray is also the president of both organizations’ boards.

Citizens Bank was the housing project’s construction lender on behalf of the Cape Cod Affordable Housing Loan Consortium. Land acquisition was financed by Falmouth Bank.
Thanks to a 1990 law, MHP uses mandatory credit lines from banks doing business in the state to provide long-term loans at low rates for affordable housing.  It specializes in the creation of smaller rental properties and the refinancing and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing.
The week before, MHP was present at the opening of Aunt Sarah’s in Hyannis. A longtime boarding house, Aunt Sarah’s has been rehabilitated into a mixture of one-bedroom, studio and single-room affordable apartments. MHP provided $726,000 in permanent financing to that project.

For more information about MHP’s rental financing programs, call 617-338-7868.

For additional information about the Gifford Street project, see a story in the Cape Cod Times at: