For Immediate Release - September 13, 2017

Undersecretary Kornegay Celebrates Ribbon Cutting of Rindge Tower Apartments

Just-a-Start Corporation preserves 273 units of affordable and workforce housing in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE, MA – September 13, 2017 – Today, Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay joined Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons, MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan, and Deborah Ruhe, executive director of Just-a-Start Corporation to celebrate the ribbon cutting of Rindge Tower Apartments in Cambridge, a mixed-income housing development.

The rehabilitation of Rindge Tower Apartments preserves significant affordability in Cambridge for families and individuals across the income-spectrum. 190 units will be reserved for low-income families and individuals who make less than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and the remaining 83 units will be available for those who make up to 95 percent of AMI. Just-a-Start’s efforts will ensure these units remain affordable over the long term, and protect tenants’ access to housing in a thriving neighborhood.

“We are proud to partner with organizations like Just-a-Start, who are critical to efforts to preserve the affordable housing we already have in Massachusetts as we work to also increase production of housing affordable to all families,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay. “Cambridge is a vibrant city and ensuring our working families and residents are able to afford housing is essential to the strength and stability of our Commonwealth.”

“MassHousing confronts the housing challenges facing the Commonwealth, by providing community-based partners like Just-a-Start Corporation with the affordable, flexible financing needed to sustain vibrant affordable housing communities,” said MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan. “The renovation of Rindge Tower Apartments will improve the quality of life for hundreds of Cambridge’s working families, while preserving affordability for decades to come. We are proud to be a partner in this important project.”

Just-a-Start leveraged $30.1 in MassHousing financing and significant equity generated by Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), allocated by DHCD, to complete the $54.5 million project. The renovations included significant improvements to the building’s exterior as well as upgrades to kitchens, bathrooms and plumbing, electrical and mechanical work. Additionally, 12 units were overhauled to transform them into fully accessible units.

“The need for affordable housing has increased as the cost of housing has gone up dramatically in our communities. Affordable housing is the most frequent constituent request we receive, and the most difficult to help people with,” said Senator Pat Jehlen. “Preserving these apartments is part of the solution.”

“This is a vital step to maintaining quality affordable units in North Cambridge. I’m so pleased with this partnership between DHCD, the City of Cambridge and Just-A-Start,” said Representative Dave Rogers. “It is an excellent example of stakeholders working together to ensure that affordable housing in our community is preserved and well kept.”

"We are proud to celebrate 20 years of ownership of 402 Rindge with such extensive upgrades and renovations, and honored to share this celebration with some of our most important partners,” said Just-a-Start Executive Director, Deborah Ruhe. “Just-A-Start is a bridge to opportunity for all youth and adults in and around Cambridge; nothing is more fulfilling to Just-A-Start than to celebrate the power of a caring community."

Just-a-Start is a community development corporation based in Cambridge, which owns nearly 600 units of affordable rental housing, and has developed 130 affordable first-time homebuyer units. Just-a-Start works to ensure low and moderate-income families and residents have access to stable, secure, affordable housing.

The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to a comprehensive strategy to increase housing production and preserve existing affordable housing for low and middle income families and residents in Massachusetts. In August, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded over $70 million in direct funding and more than $28 million in state and federal low income housing tax credits for traditional affordable housing production and preservation across the Commonwealth. 

In addition, the administration and MassHousing have previously committed $100 million to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units. To date, the Workforce Housing Initiative has advanced the development of 1,593 housing units across a range of incomes, including 459 workforce housing units.

In April, Governor Baker filed a housing bond bill seeking $1.287 billion in additional capital authorization to advance the administration’s commitment to affordable housing. In May 2016, the administration unveiled a five-year capital budget plan that includes a $1.1 billion commitment to increasing housing production, an 18 percent funding increase over previous funding levels. The $1.1 billion capital commitment provides for significant expansions in state support for mixed-income housing production, public housing modernization, and affordable housing preservation.

Since 2015 the Baker-Polito Administration has provided direct funding to create and preserve over 5,200 units of affordable housing across Massachusetts.