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MHP helps finance more Provincetown affordable housing

Posted on June 10, 2004

MHP has once again put its bank-funded loan pool to work in this popular Cape Cod community, providing long-term financing for six new affordable rental apartments in two attractive buildings in a quiet residential neighborhood near Race Point Beach.

MHP is providing $634,000 in long-term financing to Community Housing Resource Inc. (CHR), which has been a leader in developing affordable housing in Provincetown since its inception in 1996.

“(CHR) has been doing a great job balancing open space and the need to protect the Cape’s beauty with the need to produce affordable housing,” said MHP Deputy Director Judy Jacobson.

Jacobson and CHR executive director Ted Malone also noted that the effort had the support of the community and from the Nelson family, a longtime Provincetown family that designated the land for affordable housing.

At opening ceremonies on June 7, the acute need for housing was expressed by the six residents who were chosen from a pool of 160 people who had applied for new housing.

“It’s really weird to live in a place that is so abundant in its natural beauty, but where you are also worrying every day about where you’re going to live,” said Lynn Stanley, an artist and poet who has lived in Provincetown since 1990. “If this hadn’t happened, I was going to have to move away from Provincetown.”

Other residents told similar stories of constantly having to worry about rising rents and landlords selling apartments.

"There's not much housing here," said Provincetown native Mary Peres, who has been looking for an affordable place to live since her longtime apartment was sold a year ago. "When people lose their housing here, they end up staying with friends while they try to find anything that's affordable."

This is CHR’s fourth affordable housing effort in Provincetown and MHP has provided financial support each time. Last year, CHR finished 18 units of affordable rental housing and 10 artist studios on the site of the old A&P supermarket on Conwell Street. Previously, CHR developed five units of rental housing at 27A Conwell Street and built and sold four condominiums (two affordable) at 27B Conwell Street. CHR also developed 18 condominiums (11 affordable) on Hensche Lane, just across the street from the old A&P site. All are within walking distance of downtown. 

Thanks to a 1990 state law, MHP uses private bank funds to provide much-needed long-term financing for affordable rental housing. Bank acquisitions such as the recent Bank of America-Fleet deal trigger the statute that funds MHP. MHP also offers a first-homebuyer’s mortgage program which was used to help homeowners purchase condominiums at Hensche Lane.

“That moment in the legislature when we created the law that funded MHP is one of the best we’ve ever had,” said Rep. Shirley Gomes during the 40A Nelson Ave. opening ceremonies.

Part of MHP’s mission is to finance smaller affordable housing efforts like the six-unit effort on 40A Nelson Ave. in Provincetown. Since 1990, MHP has financed over 11,000 units and more than half of the efforts have been for projects of 24 units or less.

For more information about MHP’s financing programs, call 617-330-9955.