Affordable Boston Community Receives $39M Loan

The 146-unit West Newton Apartments in South End is set to undergo extensive renovations. MassHousing provided the financing to non-profit Inquilinos Boricuas En Accion.
West Newton Apartments
West Newton Apartments

MassHousing has closed on $38.7 million in affordable housing financing to non-profit Inquilinos Boricuas En Accion Inc. (IBA). In partnership with the Boston Housing Authority, the organization intends to use the capital for the rehabilitation and preservation of West Newton Apartments, a 146-unit public housing community in Boston’s South End. Contractor Bilt-Rite Construction, Davis Square Architects and Management Agent Maloney Properties are also part of the redevelopment project.

Located at 94 W. Newton St., the property is within a 10-minute drive of downtown Boston. West Newton Apartments features 44 studios and one- to five-bedroom apartments, spread across 28 townhouses. According to Yardi Matrix data, the asset includes a business center, a community room and five laundry facilities.

IBA plans to undertake $29.5 million in property renovations, with upgrades set to include extensive exterior masonry and carpentry work, roofing repairs, installation of new doors and HVAC systems, plumbing improvements and in-unit remodeling.

Public-private collaboration

The non-profit is reviving West Newton Apartments under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which allows local public housing authorities to enter into redevelopment partnerships with outside developers. These projects leverage private investments for the benefit of public housing residents.

MassHousing provided a $7.7 million construction and permanent loan and a $30.9 million tax-exempt bridge loan. The MassHousing financing also generated $22.9 million in low-income housing tax credit equity for the project, with Wells Fargo as the direct investor. The project is also benefiting from approximately $11.8 million in federal and state historic tax credit equity, a $24 million seller note, a $3.9 million sponsor contribution and a $977,000 deferred developer fee.

Upon completion of the improvements, 110 units will be supported through HUD’s Public Housing Rental Assistance Demonstration program and 36 will be supported through a Section 8 Housing contract. The Boston Housing Authority will administer both.

As living costs continue to rise across the city, we remain firmly committed to identifying new ways to expand affordable housing and empower low-income minority residents in Boston,” said IBA CEO Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, in prepared remarks. “Preserving Boston’s affordable housing stock is key to ensuring that everyone who wants to live here can afford to do so,” Boston Mayor Martin Walsh added.

Image courtesy of Yardi Matrix