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MHP commits $10M to help Somerville add 119 new units

Posted on January 23, 2008

SOMERVILLE --- By providing nearly $10 million in permanent first mortgage financing, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) is helping to create 119 affordable units in two projects in Somerville. 

MHP has committed $2.5 million to help the Somerville Community Corporation construct 24 new rental units in a four-story building that will include three ground-floor commercial spaces.   The effort will include six one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom units, and will be affordable to households earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with four units set aside for Department of Mental Health (DMH) clients.

Known as Saint Polycarp Village, the 24 units are part of a larger effort that will redevelop a 3.1 acre land parcel purchased from the Archdiocese of Boston into a mixed-use, mixed-income development.  In addition to the affordable rental component, a second phase of construction will create 60 homeownership condominiums and convert a convent into a single-resident-occupancy (SRO) building.  The effort will also include a playground and a significant amount of open space.

Also in Somerville, MHP has committed $7.4 million through its Massachusetts Tax-Exempt Credit for Housing Program (MATCH) bond financing program to help the local housing authority replace 65 obsolete housing units with 95 new units of elderly housing, known as Capen Court Senior Housing.  All of the one-bedroom units in the villa-style development will have project-based vouchers for 10 years and afterwards be affordable at 60 percent of AMI in perpetuity.

Both the Saint Polycarp and Capen Court projects are smart growth efforts and will use green technologies and energy efficient designs in their construction.

Both efforts benefitted from local support.  The city of Somerville provided $750,000 and $500,000 in HOME funds for Saint Polycarp Village and Capen Court, respectively. 

About MHP:  MHP is a quasi-public state agency that provides long-term loans for affordable rental housing using private bank funds and at no cost to the taxpayer. This is possible due to a 1990 state law that requires companies that purchase Massachusetts banks to set aside a portion of the acquired assets to MHP. Since then, MHP's loan pool has grown to over a $1 billion and it has provided over $534 million in loans and commitments for the financing of 13,700 units of rental housing.