Press Releases
CommonWealth Builder
MassHousing Announces $5 Million in CommonWealth Builder Funding to Create 18 New Homes for Purchase by Moderate-Income, First-Time Homebuyers in Fall River
McPherson Development LLC is developing the St. Louis Schoolhouse Condominiums at a former elementary school property
April 09, 2024

BOSTON - April 9, 2024 - MassHousing has closed on $5 million in financing through the CommonWealth Builder Program to McPherson Development LLC to develop 18 new condominiums for purchase by moderate-income, first-time homebuyers in the Gateway City of Fall River.

The MassHousing funding will allow McPherson Development to transform the site of the former St. Louis Parish Elementary School built in 1905 into a new residential community for first-time homebuyers. Nine of the new condominiums will be sold to homebuyers earning up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and nine homes will be sold to homebuyers earning up to 100 percent of AMI.

"MassHousing is excited for the 18 households who will be able to purchase a new home they can afford and put down roots in Fall River," said MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay. "As homeowners, they will begin to build equity and wealth and we are pleased that CommonWealth Builder will play a part on turning a long-vacant school building into new homes with all the benefits homeownership can bring."

"We believe that by revitalizing the St. Louis School we can contribute to the economic and cultural growth of Fall River," said Lucian McPherson, Managing Director and President of McPherson Development LLC. "This project is a testament to our commitment to urban redevelopment that transform communities and improve lives."

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 underserved communities. 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, and 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 Area Median Income.

In addition to the $5 million in CommonWealth Builder financing from MassHousing, RD Advisors is providing $1.95 million in construction financing.

The vacant three-story school building will be redeveloped into the 18 condos with nine one-bedroom units and nine two-bedroom units. The development is located adjacent to two regional bus line stops and near Kennedy Park and area restaurants and retail stores.

The general contractor is McPherson Development. The architect is Vanko Studio Architects LLC and the management will be Northeastern Property Management Solutions.

About the CommonWealth Builder Program

Massachusetts has the sixth-largest racial homeownership gap the United States. Across the nation, approximately 46 percent of households of color own their own home, compared to just 34 percent in Massachusetts. The homeownership gap between white and nonwhite residents in Massachusetts has helped drive significant disparities in household wealth. The CommonWealth Builder Program is a double-bottom-line initiative. It grows the Commonwealth’s stock of moderately priced starter homes, while advancing intergenerational wealth building in underserved communities.

MassHousing’s Homeownership Division 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 new opportunity for homeownership.

Since the program launched in 2019, MassHousing has committed a total of $106.2 million to 22 CommonWealth Builder projects across Massachusetts. These projects will create a total of 564 new homeownership opportunities, including 474 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.

About McPherson Development LLC

McPherson Development LLC, established in 2021 and based in Boston, is a privately held real estate firm specializing in interior construction, general contracting, estimating, budgetary accountability, project management services, and development work. With a commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, McPherson Development LLC delivers exceptional results on a wide range of projects. Their experienced team, led by Managing Director and President Lucian McPherson, brings innovative solutions to complex construction challenges, ensuring quality workmanship and timely completion.

About MassHousing

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 $30 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Media Contacts

Paul McMorrow
Tom Farmer

One Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108