BOSTON – October 26, 2023 – MassHousing announced today that it has closed on a total of $12.6 million in financing through the Agency's CommonWealth Builder Program with the non-profit Home City Development, Inc. for the development of 40 new affordable homes for moderate-income, first-time homebuyers in Springfield.
The new homes will be built on a parcel of land on Morris Street that has been vacant since 2011.
"MassHousing is pleased to partner with Home City and the City of Springfield to create 40 brand new homeownership opportunities," said MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay. "These new homes will allow first-time homebuyers to enjoy all the benefits of owning a home, including the ability to start building wealth for themselves and future generations. We commend our project partners for their substantial work making the Gemini Townhomes a reality."
"Home City is eager to start building," said Home City Development Executive Director Tom Kegelman. "We look forward to next year, when these homes will be filled with many folks who work in our city – folks who, otherwise, are denied the opportunity to live in a beautiful new home, while accumulating equity in their home."
The CommonWealth Builder Program is a landmark initiative to address the racial homeownership gap in Massachusetts by creating new homeownership and wealth-building opportunities in communities of color. It is the largest state-level program of its kind in the nation and provides market-based subsidies to support the construction of new, moderately priced, single-family homes and condominiums in the City of Boston, the state's 26 Gateway Cities, Framingham and Randolph. The program subsidizes the production of homes restricted to homebuyers with incomes set anywhere between 70 percent to 120 percent of their AMI.
In addition to MassHousing's CommonWealth Builder funding, financing sources include $4.3 million in construction financing from New Valley Bank and Trust, $1 million in ARPA funds from the City of Springfield, $210,000 in Springfield Community Preservation Act funding, $400,000 from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), and a $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
The Morris Street parcel had been a host to several uses dating back to the early 1900s, including a steam laundry facility, warehouse and office building, and most recently an auto repair facility. A fire severely damaged the building on the site, which was razed, and the site has been vacant since 2011. The new homes will be adjacent to three Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus routes and approximately one mile away from the downtown Union Bus and Train Station. Residents will also have easy access to ample green spaces, including the Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway.
The 40 new condominiums will be constructed in 10, two-story townhouse-style buildings, and each unit will have a garage with two parking spaces, as well as access to an open-air community pavilion. The townhomes will be constructed with a highly efficient building envelope system, feature Energy Star appliances, and have all electric heating and cooling systems, eliminating the use of fossil fuels. The general contractor is Henry General Contractors, Inc., a local minority-owned business, and the architect is Architecture Environment Life, Inc.
There will be 24 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units, of which two will be reserved for homebuyers with mobility, vision, or hearing impairments. Eight of the homes will be sold to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI and 32 homes will be sold to homebuyers earning up to 100 percent of AMI. Home sales prices are expected to range from $169,500 to $225,000.
MassHousing has financed 14 rental housing communities in Springfield totaling 2,757 units with an overall original loan amount of $183.3 million. The Agency has also provided home mortgage loans to 5,270 homebuyers and homeowners in Springfield with an original purchase principal balance of $426.2 million.
About CommonWealth Builder
Massachusetts has one of the largest racial homeownership gaps the United States. The homeownership gap between white and nonwhite residents in Massachusetts has helped drive significant disparities in household wealth. The CommonWealth Builder Program helps to grow the Commonwealth’s stock of moderately priced starter homes, while advancing intergenerational wealth building in underserved communities. MassHousing’s Homeownership Division also supports CommonWealth Builder with a combination of mortgage financing for homebuyers, down payment assistance loans, mortgage insurance with job-loss protection at no added cost, and targeted marketing in the Gateway Cities to ensure that borrowers of color are made aware of this opportunity for homeownership.
Since the program launched, MassHousing has committed a total of $68.7 million to 14 CommonWealth Builder projects across Massachusetts. These projects will create a total of 368 new homeownership opportunities, including 341 new affordable homes for first-time homebuyers. The CommonWealth Builder Program is funded by state capital funds and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocated by the Massachusetts Legislature.
The Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities are Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield and Worcester.
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.