BOSTON – December 7, 2021 – MassHousing has closed on $28.8 million in affordable housing financing to Council of Elders Housing Corporation for the refinancing and extension of affordability at the 145-unit Council Tower in Roxbury.
As a result of the transaction, the Council Tower property, which houses lower-income senior citizens, will have affordability protections extended for 29 years. In addition to extending affordability, the 17-story housing community in Roxbury will undergo approximately $2 million in property improvements.
"MassHousing is pleased that the seniors living at Council Tower will have their affordable rents extended for the long term," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "MassHousing partners with mission-based affordable housing developers, for the benefit of lower-income households, and this transaction ensures that Council Tower will continue to serve Boston residents for decades to come."
"Council of Elders Housing Corporation's ongoing mission is to serve this community and preserving the affordability for low-income seniors is essential," said Victoria Williams, Board Chair, Council of Elders Housing Corporation. "Critical reinvestment in the building will not only impact the current residents, but it will also have a long-lasting impact on the Council of Elders Housing Corporation's ability to create more affordable housing and deliver services to elders in the Roxbury community."
Council Tower 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 $1 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 Council of Elders Housing Corporation with a $28.8 million, 35-year permanent loan.
"Council Tower's convenient location in the Egleston Square area of Roxbury, close to transportation, healthcare, shopping and restaurants, is a real benefit to the senior tenants," noted Dan Lyons, Managing Partner and President of Rockport Mortgage. "We're very pleased to work with Council of Elders Housing, the property management company, Rogerson Communities, and MassHousing to ensure that Council Tower remains a valuable housing asset for members of our senior community."
Council Tower, which is managed by Rogerson Communities, has 28 studio apartments and 117 one-bedroom apartments. All but one of the 145 apartments are subsidized with a federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract. The property owner will extend the HAP contract for 20 years when the current contract expires in nine years. One unit is occupied by a property manager.
Among the property enhancements planned are a new fire alarm panel, replacement of the emergency call system, building façade repairs and general site improvements.
About MassHousing’s MAP/Ginnie Mae Initiative
MassHousing has partnered with three well-known and experienced MAP lenders CBRE, 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 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 $27.5 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.