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MHP Green financing to support energy-efficient affordable housing in Hanson

Posted on September 25, 2020

BOSTON --- Continuing to support housing that is energy efficient and near public transit, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) has committed $2.4 million in permanent financing to Dakota Partners for the construction of 48 affordable apartments in Hanson.

Called Depot Village, the commitment marks the sixth time that MHP has provided financing to Dakota Partners. Previously, MHP has financed two projects and 120 affordable apartments in Hyannis, two projects and 144 affordable apartments in Haverhill and one project and 69 affordable apartments in Yarmouth.

Depot Village is being financed through MHP’s Green and Healthy financing programs, which provides lower interest rates and other financial incentives for owners who invest in increased energy efficiency and healthy building design. Launched in 2019, MHP has made nine loan commitments to affordable housing developers who plan to pursue incentives through MHP’s green and healthy programs.

"We are excited to be working with Dakota Partners again to bring more  housing to the Commonwealth and to support their efforts to build rental housing that's not only affordable but energy efficient and close to transit," said Clark Ziegler, MHP's executive director.

Affordable and efficient

Dakota Partners is developing Depot Village to meet an efficient energy-use standard known as Passive House, a performance-based certification that focuses on dramatic reduction of energy use for heating and cooling.

“In this unprecedented time, it’s more important than ever to expand housing options for working individuals and families in the suburbs while continuing to pursue construction practices that address energy consumption and the environment,” said Roberto Arista, a principal at Dakota Partners. “MHP’s green financing makes it possible to achieve affordable housing and energy efficiencies, and we’re excited that they are once again partnering with us to bring more housing to Massachusetts.”

Depot Village will be built within walking distance of the MBTA’s Hanson Commuter Rail station. To enhance this feature, Dakota Partners is working with the MBTA and an abutter to establish a right of way so a walking path can be built from Depot Village directly to the train station.

Located south of Boston and east of Brockton, Hanson’s population is just over 10,000. According to MHP’s DataTown web site, over 94 percent of the town is white and over 84 percent of the town’s housing is single-family. Depot Village will be the first multifamily development in town over 10 units. The housing density around Hanson’s train station is half a unit per acre, according to MHP’s TODEX web site, which measures housing densities around all 261 Greater Boston transit stops.

To support this project, the Town of Hanson has issued a Ch. 40B comprehensive land use permit to allow Dakota to build multifamily housing on the property if at least 25 percent of the apartments are affordable.

Dakota Partners plans to build a single, three-story building featuring 12 one-, 31 two- and five three-bedroom apartments. All apartments will be affordable to families and individuals earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). Five of these units will be supported by project-based Section 8 vouchers and will be affordable to households at or below 30 percent AMI.

Depot Village is being financed primarily with federal low-income housing tax credits awarded by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The state is also providing federal HOME funds and additional funding from its Housing Stabilization and Affordable Housing Trust funds. The state is also supporting Depot Village with a $192,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Passive House Design Challenge program, part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s $15 million Affordable Access for Clean and Efficient Energy (AACEE) initiative.

MHP green incentives

MHP is providing its $2.4 million loan commitment from its bank-funded loan pool, one of three capital sources MHP offers to multifamily affordable housing developers. By securing this financing through MHP’s Green Building Certification Financing program, Dakota is eligible to receive an additional interest rate reduction upon receiving Passive House certification, as well as reimbursement for commissioning costs up to $15,000, and free energy performance benchmarking services for the first two years after the closing of the loan.

Based in Waltham, Dakota has also developed affordable housing in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia. Depot Village would be the second affordable housing development that Dakota has built to Passive House standards, the first being the 80-unit Columbus Commons in New Britain, CT. In both developments, Dakota is using the same energy-efficient specialists – Kaplan Thompson Architects and Steven Winter Associates.

About MHP:  MHP offers a variety of capital sources at competitive interest rates to provide permanent financing for affordable housing, including bank funds and lending programs offered by Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Since 1990, MHP has provided over $1.4 billion for the financing of over 26,000 apartments and has helped over 21,000 low- and moderate-income households buy their first home through the SoftSecond and ONE Mortgage programs, resulting in over $3.7 billion in mortgage financing. MHP has provided support and technical assistance to over 300 communities. In 2017, MHP created the Center for Housing Data to support all its work and promote policies to allow more housing in response to demand.

For more information MHP’s capital sources and its Green and Healthy programs, contact Director of Business Development Nancy McCafferty at nmccafferty@mhp.net or Senior Relationship Manager Alma Balonon-Rosen at almabr@mhp.net.