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MHP continues to support New Bedford neighborhood revitalization

Posted on December 6, 2004

NEW BEDFORD --- The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) is continuing to support the revitalization of the Acushnet Heights neighborhood of New Bedford, announcing today it will commit $300,000 in financing to help support the conversion of a former school into 12 units of affordable rental housing.

MHP is committing over $105,000 in first-mortgage financing and another $200,000 in second-mortgage financing from Home Funders, a one-year-old program aimed at helping developers provide more of their units for lower-income families. This funding combination means four of the 12 apartments will be affordable to households making 30 percent of median income, which is $18,500 for a household of four.

MHP is making the loan to the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development Inc. (WIHED), a non-profit organization that is converting the former Kinyon-Campbell Business School on Linden Street into affordable housing with a first-floor commercial space. The first floor will be used by NorthStar Learning Centers, which offers programs such as job training, mentoring and computer training.

This is the fourth loan commitment MHP has made in the Acushnet Heights neighborhood, a part of the city targeted for revitalization. Previously, MHP helped finance the rehabilitation of 64 rental units known as Wamsutta Apartments. All told, MHP will be committing over $1.4 million in financing to this neighborhood.

In addition to MHP, financial support for the Women’s Institute effort is being provided by the state through low income and historic tax credits and HOME funds, from the City of New Bedford, and the Highland Street Connection, a Boston-based family foundation that owned and donated the property.

This is also the fourth loan that MHP has made in the last two years in support of the small city revitalization of underutilized urban buildings into affordable rental housing on the upper floors, with commercial space on the ground floor.

In Lowell, MHP is providing $1.1 million in financing for the creation of 33 affordable rental units and 4600 square feet of commercial space in the  historic Acre neighborhood. Three buildings were totally renovated while a fourth was razed and replaced.
 
In Taunton, MHP is committing $2.7 million for the redevelopment of the Robertson Mill into 64 affordable rental units and 18,000 square feet of commercial space.

In Worcester, MHP is providing a $215,000 first mortgage and a $200,000 second mortgage to create five affordable apartments with ground floor commercial space on  133 Chandler St.

MHP is a statewide public/non-profit affordable organization that uses private bank funds to provide loans for affordable rental housing, providing some of the units are affordable to lower and moderate income households. Bank mergers like the recent Bank of America-Fleet deal trigger the state statute that funds MHP. Since 1990, MHP has made over $360 million in loans for the financing of over 11,000 units of rental housing.

Home Funders is a collaboration of public and private funders who have rallied to address the shortage in low-income housing units in Massachusetts.  Founders of the collaborative include the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, The Highland Street Connection, The Hyams Foundation, The Boston Foundation, The Mellon Charitable Giving Program/Peter E. Strauss Trust.  The Home Funders partners to date include: The Vincent Mulford Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, The City of Boston, FleetBoston Financial Foundation, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The Morris and Esther Horowitz Family Foundation, The F.B Heron Foundation, Kenneth Novack and Nixon Peabody, LLP.  Home Funders recently welcomed The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The State Street Corporation and Fidelity Management Trust Company as partners.

In addition to New Bedford, MHP financing in combination with Home Funders has created more affordable rental units for lower-income families at the 64-unit Egleston Crossing effort in Roxbury; the 39-unit effort at the former LePage Glue Factory in Gloucester; the 50-unit rental effort on the old Legal Seafood factory site in Brighton; the 14-unit Southside Homes effort in Hyannis; and the 13-unit affordable rental housing effort being developed in Harwich by the Harwich Ecumenical Council for the Homeless.

For more information, go to www.mhp.net or call (617) 330-9955.