BOSTON – October 1, 2020 – MassHousing has closed on a total of $78.8 million in financing to Beacon Communities LLC, to complete the third phase of the redevelopment of obsolete public housing at the Anne M. Lynch Homes at Old Colony in South Boston. The MassHousing financing will allow Beacon Communities, in partnership with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), to demolish 135 older public housing units and construct 170 new affordable homes for lower-income families and senior citizens.
Originally constructed in 1940, Old Colony is one of the oldest federal public housing developments in the country, and prior to the current redevelopment effort, was one of the most distressed properties in the BHA's federal portfolio. Beacon Communities and the BHA are redeveloping the 845-unit Old Colony in multiple phases. To date, the first two phases and a portion of the third phase of the redevelopment have been completed, resulting in the replacement of blighted public housing with 420 new apartment units and town homes.
Beacon Communities is currently advancing two subphases of Phase Three of the larger Old Colony redevelopment, Phases Three B and Three C. The work will construct 170 new affordable homes in two new, four-story buildings. Phase Three B and Phase Three A, which was also financed by MassHousing and is under construction, will provide one-to-one replacement for the demolished units in Phase Three, while Phase Three C will provide 55 new additional units. All of the newly constructed units will be for households earning at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) and will be supported by project-based Section 8 vouchers administered through the BHA.
"Preserving Boston's affordable housing stock is key to ensuring that everyone who wants to live here can afford to do so," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "The partnership between the BHA, MassHousing and Beacon Communities demonstrates that by working together, we can provide quality affordable housing for generations to come."
"MassHousing is thrilled to partner with Beacon Communities, the Boston Housing Authority, and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust to advance the transformation of the Anne M. Lynch Homes at Old Colony," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "As one of the nation's first federal public housing communities, Old Colony promised a Boston where residents of all means had a place to live affordably, and thrive. The improvements made possible by this redevelopment partnership will ensure that Old Colony remains welcoming, and able to serve the housing needs of lower-income households, for many years ahead."
"Beacon Communities is excited to begin these latest phases of redevelopment for the residents of Old Colony," said Beacon Communities Vice President of Development Darcy L Jameson. "We appreciate the commitment of the BHA, our lending and investment partners, and the City and State, to continue the revitalization of this vibrant housing community by creating new, healthy homes, for the people who live at Old Colony."
"These brand new homes are ensuring that our current and future public housing residents will remain a part of the vibrant fabric of our city for generations to come," said BHA Administrator Kate Bennett. "The preservation of these homes for all people would not be possible without our MassHousing, Beacon, and city and state partners. We are pleased to continue this work with them."
MassHousing is providing Beacon Communities with a total of $78.8 million in construction and permanent financing for the latest three Phase Three transactions. The financing includes $36.7 million in construction financing, $5.7million in construction to permanent financing, $19.2 million in permanent only financing, and $3.8 million in short-term equity bridge financing to support Phase Three B; and $6.2 million in construction financing and $7.2 million in construction to permanent financing for Phase Three C.
Other financing sources for Phases Three B and Three C included a total of $36.7 million in federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, $14.3 million in funding from the BHA, $2 million in financing from the state's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, $500,000 in financing from the state's Community Based Housing program, and a $137,500 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
Phase Three B involves the demolition of 94 outdated public housing units and the construction of 115 affordable replacement units for low-income families and households in a new, four-story building. Phase Three C involves the demolition of 41 units and the construction of 55 new one-bedroom units for individuals and households aged 62 or older.
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust has invested approximately $187 million in MassHousing housing bonds to redevelop 550 apartment units through the first three phases of the Old Colony Redevelopment, including $78.8 million for phases 3B and 3C.
"Our investment in Old Colony is helping to transform a neighborhood and the lives of those who live there," said Chang Suh, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Portfolio Manager of the Washington, DC-based AFL-CIO HIT. "Residents now have greater access to good jobs in the building trades, enhanced opportunities to be a part of all that Boston offers, and an affordable community they are proud to call home."
MassHousing previously provided $66 million for Phase Three A of the redevelopment, which replaced four distressed buildings with two new, modern four-story properties, containing a total of 135 affordable homes.
MassHousing provided $26.7 million in construction financing for Phase One of the project, which replaced seven distressed buildings with 116 new apartments in one mid-rise building and four clusters of town homes. Phase One also included the construction of a new 10,000-square-foot community center.
MassHousing provided $33.4 million in construction loan financing for Phases Two A and Two B of the redevelopment, which involved the demolition of 223 existing units and the construction of 95 new apartments in two mid-rise buildings, and the construction of 34 new townhomes.
About the Boston Housing Authority
The BHA provides affordable housing to more than 58,000 residents in and around the City of Boston. Residents are assisted through a combination of public housing and federal and state voucher subsidy programs that provide a wide variety of housing opportunities. As the largest public housing authority in New England, the BHA houses close to nine percent of the city's residents. Their mission is to provide stable, quality affordable housing for low and moderate-income persons; to deliver these services with integrity and mutual accountability; and to create living environments that serve as catalysts for the transformation from dependency to economic self-sufficiency. For more information please visit www.bostonhousing.org.
About Beacon Communities LLC
Beacon Communities LLC is a privately owned real estate firm that develops, acquires, invests in, and manages a wide range of multi-family housing. Their portfolio includes affordable housing, market rate housing and mixed income-housing. Their developments range from new construction, to historic adaptive reuse, to the renovation of existing housing. They take on challenging developments and make them succeed. Their driving passion is to create well-designed, healthy homes that improve the quality of life of their residents and enhance the neighborhoods in which they are located. For more information about Beacon Communities LLC please visit www.beaconcommunitiesllc.com.
About the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is a registered investment company that specializes in the development, rehabilitation, and preservation of rental housing, particularly affordable housing. The HIT has a long history of working closely with for-profit and non-profit developers, housing agencies, the mortgage banking community, labor unions, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and others to identify and structure the financing needed for their real estate developments. The HIT offers both credit-enhanced executions as well as direct construction and bridge lending. The HIT structures its financing with credit enhancements provided by a variety of sources, including the Federal Housing Administration, Ginnie Mae, government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and state and local agencies. For more information please visit www.aflcio-hit.com.
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 $25 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.