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New rental housing slated for Lynn

Posted on February 10, 2004

The Massachusetts Housing Partnership is putting its bank-funded affordable housing loan pool to work in Lynn, committing $1.1 million in financing to help create 24 new units of rental housing.

The new housing will be created at the former St. Jean Baptiste parish and school. In addition to the 24 new rental units, 14 homeownership units will also be created on the site.

MHP is a quasi-public state agency that uses funds from the banking industry to provide much-needed long-term loans for affordable rental housing at below-market rates. 

Bank acquisitions similar to the proposed Bank of America/Fleet transaction trigger the state statute that funds MHP. Since 1990, MHP’s loan pool has grown to nearly a half-billion dollars. MHP has used this money to finance over 10,000 units of rental housing. MHP focuses these funds on developments that serve moderate and lower-income people.

The St. Jean Baptiste effort will do just that. Of the 24 new rental apartments, 18 will be reserved for families earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, or no more than $48,480 per year for a family of four. One unit will be for those making less than 50 percent of median, and five will be for those making less than 20 percent of area median income.

In Lynn, MHP has now provided a total of $4 million in long-term financing, creating or preserving over 200 units of rental housing.

The developer of the property is the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, a non-profit organization sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. “The neighborhood revitalization made possible by this development builds on a rich history and is a good example of how a former parish property is being used to help those in need,” said Archbishop Sean O’Malley at groundbreaking ceremonies held in December.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development, the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, federal HOME funds and federal low-income housing tax credits, are providing further financing. The development is located in the Lynn Commons neighborhood, along Franklin Street, which is one of the major roads in Lynn.

“This project is a perfect example of the type of new housing we should create in our developed urban centers,” said Governor Mitt Romney. “It’s close to all the services that make possible a desirable quality of life.”

For more information, contact MHP at 1-877-MHP-FUND.

(PHOTO INFORMATION: Archbishop Sean O'Malley and Governor Mitt Romney were on hand for the groundbreaking marking the beginning of the transformation of the former St. Jean Baptiste parish site into 40 units of affordable housing).