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Open house held to mark first part of Worcester neighborhood revitalization

Posted on April 26, 2002

WORCESTER, April 26, 2002 – An open house was held on Friday, April 19 to mark the halfway point of the renovation of two properties at the edge of the city's Crown Hill and Piedmont neighborhoods.

The celebration marked the renovation of 98 Austin Street, a historic Greek revival home that had fallen into disrepair. Today, white pillars stand as testimony to the project, as the home now features five units of affordable rental housing. 

The project sponsor is Worcester Common Ground. WCG will now turn its attention to completing the renovation of 102 Austin St. into four more units of affordable housing. Expected rents for these apartments are expected to range from $225 to $396 for the one-bedrooms; $465 for the two-bedroom unit; and $573 for three bedrooms.

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership is providing $860,000 of the project’s $1.3 million in long-term financing. Included in that is a $760,000 second mortgage at 0 percent interest, thanks to a special financing program MHP has with Fleet and Citizens bank. Additional financing includes $180,000 in city HOME funds and $251,000 from the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The Crown Hill and Piedmont neighborhoods has long been a target of city revitalization. However, the rehabilitation of these historic residences has made it desirable for young professionals. Worcester Common Ground’s investment on Austin St. ensures that this neighborhood’s revitalization will include affordable rental housing. 

“What Worcester Common Ground is doing is making sure that the revitalization of the neighborhood doesn’t put living there out of reach for low and moderate-income people,” said Judy Jacobson, Deputy Director and General Counsel for MHP.

MHP’s commitment to Austin St. pushes its total commitment of long-term financing in the city to $5.5 million, all of it for affordable rental housing and all of it from private sources.  Thanks to a 1990 state law, MHP uses mandatory credit lines from the banking industry to provide long-term loans for affordable housing and neighborhood development.