For Immediate Release - October 15, 2009


U.S. Treasury's tax credit exchange funds to restart 10 projects, create jobs

BOSTON - Thursday, October 15, 2009 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the state will utilize $50.3 million in federal recovery funds to create hundreds of jobs and revive affordable housing developments stalled throughout the Commonwealth due to the lack of equity available in low-income housing tax credit markets.

Ten projects in Amherst, Charlton, Chelmsford, Lunenburg, Plymouth, Wareham, Watertown, West Boylston, Westfield and Worcester will receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to fill the financing gaps created in projects where tax credits could not leverage the equity needed to support construction costs.

"This influx of funds will help keep our economic recovery on track by putting people back to work and by creating new affordable housing opportunities for families across Massachusetts," said Governor Deval Patrick.

"Support of these projects bolsters our efforts to help homeless families and those at risk of becoming homeless with more options to transition into a permanent and stable housing situation," said Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, chair of the state's Interagency Council for Housing and Homelessness.

The U.S .Department of the Treasury is providing the funds and allowing states to convert tax credits into grants due to current tax credit market conditions. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is implementing the program and awarded funds competitively based on projects that were shovel ready for construction and secure in all other aspects of project financing and permitting.

"This investment is a lifeline to help hundreds of people who are struggling to find work and keep a roof over their heads," said Senator John Kerry.

"I am extremely pleased that Watertown will be among the communities benefiting from these vital Recovery Act funds," said Congressman Ed Markey. "Not only will this project provide relief to families who are struggling to stay in their homes and may be at risk of becoming homeless, but it will also provide an immediate stimulus to the local economy by creating new jobs."

"This $50 million in Recovery assistance will create more housing opportunities for Massachusetts families and help stimulate the local economy," said Congressman Richard E. Neal. "I am particularly pleased that $2.18 million will be used to rehabilitate the Cady Brook Apartments in Charlton creating 57 new jobs in the process. Today's announcement by Governor Patrick is another example of how the federal stimulus package is working to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans."

"These projects will create jobs and affordable housing opportunities, and we are in desperate need of both right now," said Congressman John Olver. "If not for influx of these funds, these projects would have been left to sit on the shelf until the economy improved. It's really quite wonderful news that we'll now be able to move forward."

"I am pleased the Cherry Hill ll housing project will now move forward with this much needed federal funding," said Congressman William Delahunt. "This project will not only offer our seniors affordable housing, but will also generate employment opportunities in Plymouth."

"I'm very pleased that the Southgate Place project in Worcester and the Freedom Village project in West Boylston will be receiving this federal stimulus money," said Congressman James McGovern. "With credit markets still very tight, this funding is urgently needed. These projects will create jobs and help provide affordable housing in our community. I want to applaud Governor Patrick for this terrific use of federal funding."

"The significant investment that is being made in Chelmsford will help to create construction jobs while simultaneously improving living conditions for elderly residents," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "The impact of each dollar spent will multiply as workers demand local goods and service - strengthening our economy over time as the Recovery package was intended to do."

"These funds, coupled with more than $45 million in low-income housing tax credit assistance that we received last summer from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has helped us to get some important housing developments back on track while also creating new jobs and affordable housing opportunities for families on all income levels," said state Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Tina Brooks.

Investments in housing and economic development are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;

Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband, and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and

Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

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Project: Butternut Farm (Amherst)
Project Sponsor: HAP, Inc.
Award Amount: $6,529,566
Description: When completed, the project will feature 26 new construction units reserved for rental to households earning less than 60% of area median income (AMI). Three units will be reserved for households earning less than 30% of AMI. The developer is HAP, Inc.

Project: Cady Brook Apartments (Charlton)
Project Sponsor: HAP, Inc.
Award Amount: $2,178,208
Description: Cady Brook is one of the few affordable housing developments located in Charlton and these funds will support the rehabilitation work on all rental units. The town will run a new water line to the project, and the septic systems will be upgraded to conform to state codes. When completed, all 39 units will be reserved for households earning less than 60% of AMI, with four units reserved for households below 30% of AMI.

Project: CHOICE Center at North Village (Chelmsford)
Project Sponsor: Chelmsford Housing Authority
Award Amount: $4,488,949
Description: This project is sponsored by the non-profit corporation Chelmsford Housing Opportunities for Intergenerational and Community Endeavors, which is an instrumentality of the Chelmsford Housing Authority. The property will provide 37 apartments with supportive services. The units will be affordable to elders with incomes at or below 60% of AMI, of which at least four units will be affordable to seniors with incomes below 30% of AMI.

Project: Tri-Town Landing (Lunenburg)
Project Sponsor: Great Bridge Properties
Award Amount: $6,545,000
Description: When completed, Tri-Town will feature 66 new units of which 60 units will be affordable to families earning less than 60% of AMI.

Project: Cherry Hill II (Plymouth)
Project Sponsor: Plymouth Bay Housing Corp.
Award Amount: $6,256,500
Description: The sponsor is an affiliate of the Plymouth Housing Authority, and the project will be built adjacent to an existing downtown elderly housing authority development. Cherry Hill II will feature 35 new affordable units for the elderly, with all units reserved for individuals or couples earning less than 60% of AMI. Four of the 35 units will be reserved for individuals or couples earning less than 30% of AMI. There will also be a 8,100 square foot commercial space. The Town of Plymouth has demonstrated support for this project through a Community Preservation Act award

Project: Village at 815 Main Street (Wareham)
Project Sponsor: Cornerstone Properties Group of Wareham
Award Amount: $8,531,022
Description: When completed, the project will feature 49 rental units in ten buildings.

Project: 1060 Belmont Street (Watertown)
Project Sponsor: Watertown Community Housing
Award Amount: $2,832,491
Description: The project entails the purchase and rehabilitation of an occupied building and conversion to deed-restricted affordable housing for a minimum of 30 years. 18 newly-renovated units will be rented to households with incomes below 60% of AMI, and seven households living at the property are expected to receive rental assistance so that they pay no more than 30% of their income for rent.

Project: Freedom Village (West Boylston)
Project Sponsor: FWC Affordable Housing LLC
Award Amount: $4,618,161
Description: The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) and the Freedom Worship Center will develop the Freedom Village project near the center of West Boylston. The project will offer 26 townhouse‑style units affordable to households earning less than 60% of AMI.

Project: Elm Street Revitalization (Westfield)
Project Sponsor: Westfield Community Development Corporation
Award Amount: $4,569,875
Description: Project consists of the rehabilitation of three historic buildings located in the Westfield Center National Historic District. DOMUS, Inc. will redevelop the properties into mixed-use properties with commercial and residential space. DOMUS will add 19 affordable units for low to moderate-income families.

Project: Southgate Place (Worcester)
Project Sponsor: South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Corp.
Award Amount: $3,795,889
Description: The project is part of a broader economic revitalization effort for the South Worcester Industrial Park which will be redeveloped into many commercial and residential components, including affordable rental housing, a possible child care facility or elderly housing, and for-sale units. The property will provide apartments for 25 low to moderate-income families.