MA Affordable Housing Project Lands $23M

MassHousing arranged the financing through JP Morgan Chase on behalf of Just-A-Start for the renovation and reconstruction of 112 affordable units in Cambridge, Mass.

By IvyLee Rosario

50 York St., Cambridge, Mass.

Rendering of 50 York St., Cambridge, Mass.

Nonprofit developer Just-A-Start Corp. has secured $22.6 million for the acquisition and renovation of affordable apartments in Cambridge, Mass. The financing also covers the construction of a building at 50 York St. that was destroyed in a fire in December 2016. 

The project totals 112 units, of which 41 are supported by a federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract. All apartments will be affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income. The financing allows Just-A-Start to invest $17 million in renovating and modernizing the scattered-site portfolio. Comprising 20 low-rise, mid-rise and townhome properties, the portfolio is spread across 10 sites throughout Cambridge. Residents can choose among one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom floorplans.

Reconstruction Financing 

MassHousing arranged a $10.1 million permanent loan and a $12.5 million bridge loan through JP Morgan Chase on behalf of Just-A-Start. Additional financing for the $45.6 million transaction includes:

  • $14.2 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
  • $3.8 million Just-a-Start seller note
  • $5.2 million sponsor loan
  • $10.1 million in assumed subordinate debt
  • $540,000 loan from Cambridge Redevelopment Authority
  • $435,000 deferred developer fee

“We are very pleased to provide financing to rehabilitate and preserve these important affordable housing units in Cambridge,’’ Tom Lyons, acting executive director for MassHousing, told Multi-Housing News. “Cambridge has one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, and to be able to preserve these units for low- and moderate-income households is critical for these residents to be able to live and work in a community like Cambridge. Equally important is the reconstruction of 50 York St., which was destroyed in the devastating fire in December 2016. Those residents who were literally driven from their apartments will have the opportunity to return to a brand-new building and continue to rent affordably in a neighborhood they consider home.’’

The contractor for the project is NEI General Contracting, it was designed by Winslow Architects and management will be handled by Maloney Properties. 

In May, MassHousing provided a $21 million bridge loan to First Resource Cos. for renovations at the 173-unit Maple Commons Apartments in Springfield, Mass. 

Rendering courtesy of MassHousing 

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