BOSTON – November 24, 2020 – MassHousing has closed on $4.5 million in affordable housing financing to The Community Builders (TCB), for the 53-unit North Commons at Village Hill, a new, affordable and workforce rental housing community being built at the former Northampton State Hospital. All 53 rental homes at the North Commons at Village Hill will be deed-restricted and affordable to residents across a broad range of incomes.
The North Commons at Village Hill project marks the final phase of TCB's work redeveloping the former Northampton State Hospital. This final project will bring to 138 the number of affordable and workforce rental homes TCB has built at Village Hill, along with six single-family homes that were previously sold at affordable prices.
Valley Community Development is working with TCB as a community liaison and was a co-sponsor for project financing.
"North Commons at Village Hill will create a welcoming, inclusive housing community, providing high-quality affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "MassHousing is pleased to partner again with The Community Builders and the City of Northampton to advance this final phase of sustainable housing for low- and middle-income households in Northampton."
MassHousing is supporting the development of North Commons at Village Hill by providing TCB with $3.1 million in taxable permanent financing and $1.4 million in financing from the Agency's Workforce Housing Initiative. The project will have Passive House standards and feature significant open space areas, including a playground, walking paths and lawn space for the building residents, as well as the overall Village Hill community.
"The Community Builders is excited to once again expand housing opportunities for families at Village Hill in Northampton. Our organization is committed to building strong communities where all people can thrive. We are grateful to MassHousing and our other state and local partners who help us make this work possible," said TCB Director of Development Rachana Crowley.
"Valley Community Development is proud to be part of increasing the economic diversity of housing options at Village Hill," said Valley’s Executive Director Jane Loechler.
In addition to the MassHousing financing, project financing involved $10.6 million in federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, $3.9 million in financing from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $750,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which MassHousing manages on behalf of DHCD, $250,000 in local Community Preservation Act financing, and $212,000 in Passive House financing. Santander Bank N.A. is the construction lender.
The 53 apartment homes will be contained in one L-shaped building, with 12 of the units restricted to households earning up to 30 percent of the area median income (AMI), three units restricted to households earning up to 50 percent of AMI, 24 units restricted to households earning up to 60 percent of AMI and 14 workforce housing units for households earning up to 90 percent of AMI. The area median income for Northampton is $77,200 for a household of four.
The 12 lower-income units will be supported by a combination of state and federal housing vouchers. There will be 8 studio apartments, 19 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments and 4 three-bedroom apartments.
North Commons at Village Hill advances the Baker-Polito Administration's goal of creating up to 1,000 new workforce housing units affordable to middle-income households through MassHousing's Workforce Housing Initiative. Since the inception of the initiative in 2016, MassHousing has committed or closed workforce housing financing totaling $97.1 million, to 49 projects, located in 20 cities and towns, and has advanced the development of 4,418 housing units across a range of incomes, including 1,237 workforce housing units.
MassHousing also provided $2.8 million in affordable and workforce housing financing for an adjacent project, the 12-unit 35 Village Hill, which will be completed this month as part of the state hospital redevelopment. That new housing features 10 workforce housing apartments for moderate-income households and two deeply affordable units for clients of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH).
MassHousing additionally provided approximately $3.4 million in financing for the 40-unit Village at Hospital Hill Phase Two.
MassHousing has financed five rental housing communities in Northampton totaling 443 housing units with an overall loan amount of $36.5 million. The Agency has also provided home mortgage loans to 429 homebuyers and homeowners in Northampton with an original purchase principal balance of $31.4 million.
About The Community Builders
The Community Builders (TCB) is one of America's leading nonprofit housing organizations. Their mission is to build and sustain strong communities where all people can thrive. They realize their mission by developing, financing and operating residential communities, neighborhood amenities and resident opportunity programs. Since 1964, they have constructed or preserved hundreds of affordable and mixed-income housing developments and pioneered the Community Life (CL) model for resident success. Today, anchored by offices in Boston, Chicago, Columbus, New York and Washington, D.C. they own or manage 13,000 apartment homes in more than 14 states.
About Valley Community Development
Valley Community Development is a non-profit corporation formed in 1988 by Casa Latina, a local non-profit agency, to address the growing needs of low- and moderate-income people through developing and preserving affordable rental and ownership housing, cultivating economic self-sufficiency and fostering community leadership. The impetus for forming Valley Community Development was to address the shortage of affordable housing and the shrinkage of blue-collar jobs in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. Since 1988, Valley Community Development has developed over 279 units of affordable rental and ownership housing; provided business technical assistance to well over 1,500 entrepreneurs; assisted over 8,000 homebuyers and homeowners in the region; and helped low-income homeowners correct health and safety code violations in their homes. For more information about Valley Community Development please visit www.valleycdc.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.