BOSTON – September 6, 2023 – MassHousing, working with Rogerson Communities, has closed on $14.5 million in affordable housing financing to Charles H. Farnsworth Senior Housing Corporation, owner and developer of the 76-unit Farnsworth House for older adults in Boston, for the refinancing and renovation of the property, and the extension of resident affordability for at least 24 years.
"MassHousing is pleased that the seniors living at Farnsworth House will have their affordable rents extended for the long term," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "MassHousing partners with mission-based affordable housing providers like Farnsworth and Rogerson Communities, for the benefit of lower-income households, and this transaction ensures that Farnsworth House will continue to serve Boston residents for decades to come."
"Charles H. Farnsworth Senior Housing Corporation's ongoing mission is to serve this community. Preserving that affordability for low-income seniors is essential," said Peter Fenn, Farnsworth Senior Housing Corporation's Board Chair. "Critical reinvestment in the building will not only positively impact the current residents, but it will also have a long-lasting impact on the Farnsworth Housing Corporation's ability to create more affordable housing and deliver services to elders in the community."
"Rogerson Communities is pleased that our work with MassHousing will continue to ensure that low-income seniors have affordable rents well into the future. Quality affordable housing that is both appealing and supportive is imperative if we are to preserve vibrant and diverse communities," said Walter Ramos, Rogerson Communities' President & CEO.
Located at 90 South St. in Jamaica Plain, Farnsworth House is a seven-story, brick building built in 1982 under the federal Section 202 Program.
Among the improvements planned for the property are roof replacement, parking lot refurbishment, the removal of an underground oil tank, and replacement of the emergency generator, emergency call system, intercom, security camera system, fire alarm panel system and lobby furniture.
As part of the transaction, the property owner, Charles H. Farnsworth Senior Housing Corporation, has executed a new 20-year HUD Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract for 75 of the 76 apartments at Farnsworth House. The new contract will include four years remaining on the previous contract, for an overall extension of affordability of 24 years. There is an additional unit on the property for management staff.
Farnsworth House was refinanced through MassHousing's Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP)/Ginnie Mae Joint Venture Initiative with lender partner Rockport Mortgage Corporation. MassHousing offers the MAP/Ginnie Mae loan program to the owners of rental housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD provides expedited Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance approvals through the MAP program. MassHousing has surpassed $2 billion in cumulative MAP lending and the Agency has built the largest MAP lending program of any state housing finance agency in the nation.
The combination of FHA insurance and a Ginnie Mae guarantee enables borrowers to access taxable mortgage financing with lower interest rates, while preserving and extending affordability for hundreds of low-income individuals, senior citizens, and families. MassHousing is providing Charles H. Farnsworth Senior Housing Corporation with a $14.5 million, 35-year permanent loan.
"We are pleased to continue our successful joint-venture partnership with MassHousing, ensuring that properties such as Farnsworth House remain affordable for the long-term," said Dan Lyons, President of Rockport Mortgage. "The planned improvements to the property, supported by this loan, continues the commitment by ownership to preserving this important housing asset for the senior citizens of Jamaica Plain calling Farnsworth House home."
Farnsworth House has 69 one-bedroom apartments and seven two-bedroom apartments.
About MassHousing's MAP/Ginnie Mae Initiative
MassHousing has partnered with two well-known and experienced MAP lenders, Capital One and Rockport Mortgage Corporation. The MAP lender prepares the submission of each transaction for HUD’s approval. MassHousing then closes the new loan and issues a Ginnie Mae Mortgage Backed Security (MBS), which has consistently provided the multifamily mortgage industry its most competitive long term, taxable interest rates.
With each MAP/Ginnie Mae loan, MassHousing continues as the mortgagee of record and becomes a Ginnie Mae servicer. This ensures affordability, as each completed transaction will require the property owner to rent at least 20 percent of the units to those earning less than 80 percent of the area median income. Affordability at many properties could be at risk were MassHousing unable to offer this product, as owners could refinance with other lenders who do not require affordability restrictions.
About Charles H. Farnsworth Senior Housing Corporation
Since its inception, the Charles H. Farnsworth Senior Housing Corporation has been concerned about the welfare of low-income older adults. The key goal of Farnsworth House, a 76-unit congregate housing community opened in 1982, was to secure supportive services sufficient to allow seniors who were at risk of institutionalization to continue to live independently. Having realized that goal, Farnsworth Housing Corporation now looks to expand its mission through the creation of new affordable housing with supportive services for the growing population of older adults.
About Rogerson Communities
Rogerson Communities is a mission-driven non-profit that focuses on “Senior Living,” creating communities where older adults thrive. The Rogerson Model incorporates supportive housing and healthcare to help seniors and their families find solutions to aging strong in their community by providing a sense of dignity across all income levels. Often this means finding housing that is affordable. With 30 properties and programs under management, Rogerson offers every aspect of Senior Living: affordable housing; independent and retirement living; assisted living; memory care; continuing care communities; as well as adult day health programs. Properties are located throughout Greater Boston and stretch west to Worcester and south to Weymouth. For more information, please visit www.Rogerson.org.
About Rockport Mortgage Corporation
Rockport Mortgage Corporation is a privately owned commercial mortgage banking firm founded in 1992 and located on the North Shore of Boston. Rockport specializes in providing FHA-insured loans to market-rate, affordable and senior housing communities and healthcare facilities through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and has been approved under HUD’s Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) Program since the program inception in 2001. The Rockport team works collectively to navigate the complexities of FHA/HUD-insured finance programs, developing strategic solutions to meet the needs of our clients. For more information about Rockport Mortgage Corporation please visit www.rockportmortgage.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 $29.5 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.