BOSTON – October 24, 2022 – MassHousing has closed on $8.5 million in affordable housing financing to the nonprofit Just A Start for the development of 24 new affordable apartments on its Rindge Tower property in Cambridge.
Just A Start will construct a new six-story, wood-framed building, containing the new affordable rental homes, as well as 40,000 square feet of space to be used by Just A Start for its new Economic Mobility Hub, which will include education and training facilities, and administrative offices, and by the city of Cambridge for use as preschool classroom spaces with priority enrollment for residents within Rindge Commons.
The Rindge Tower property is located across the street from the Alewife MBTA subway station. The new Rindge Commons property will sit at the corner of Rindge Avenue and Alewife Brook Parkway, on an underutilized portion of a surface parking lot.
"Just A Start and MassHousing share a mission of investing in housing, in order to improve residents' lives," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "We are thrilled to be part of the team helping Just A Start transform a parking lot into a true community asset, with new affordable housing and educational facilities."
"We are grateful for the support of MassHousing," said Just A Start Executive Director Carl Nagy-Koechlin. "With the creation of more affordable housing, we are able to meet the fundamental needs of individuals and families and expand our services. This would not be possible without the commitment of MassHousing and their shared mission of the importance of investing in housing."
MassHousing is providing Just A Start with a $3.4 million tax-exempt permanent loan and a $5.1 million tax-exempt bridge loan. Other financing sources include $7.7 million in tax credit equity from an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $1.3 million in direct support from DHCD, $3.7 million from the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust, $9 million in construction financing from Citizens Bank, and $800,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which MassHousing manages on behalf of DHCD. RBC Community Investments will be the tax credit syndicator.
Of the 24 new apartments, five will be restricted to households earning up to 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and supported by either a federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract (three units) or by the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (two units), and 19 apartments will be restricted to households earning up to 60 percent of AMI. The AMI for Cambridge is $140,200 for a household of four.
There will be 10 one-bedroom apartments and 14 two-bedroom apartments. The contractor will be Dellbrook JKS, the architect is ICON Architecture and the management agent will be the Wingate Companies.
MassHousing has financed 19 rental communities in Cambridge for a total of 3,099 housing units and an original loan amount of $484.1 million and provided $69.1 million in financing to 553 Cambridge homebuyers or homeowners.
About Just A Start
Just A Start believes that access to stable housing and sustainable careers are the essential building blocks of equitable communities. For more than 50 years, we have focused on meeting the fundamental needs of individuals and families who have been systemically denied opportunities to realize their full potential. Our programs include affordable housing, education and job training, and comprehensive support services, spanning Cambridge and beyond. We have developed and currently maintain 600 affordable apartments. To keep community members housed, we also offer financial and technical assistance to prevent evictions, and support low- and moderate-income homeowners. Finally, we prepare individuals of all ages and circumstances with the skills and knowledge they need to secure fulfilling careers, leveraging their talents to achieve economic mobility and strengthen the region's workforce. For more information, visit their website at www.justastart.org.
MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The Agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, and to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing does not use taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations, although it administers some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception, MassHousing has provided more than $27.5 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.