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$15.7M Preserves Affordable Housing in North Adams

Tax-Exempt Bond from MassDevelopment & Citizens Bank Helps Caleb Foundation, Inc. Buy, Renovate & Increase Affordability at 190-Unit Mohawk Forest

June 7, 2022

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

Marianne McDermott, The Caleb Group, Inc., 781-962-6768

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued a $15,666,800 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Caleb Mohawk Limited Partnership, an affiliate of The Caleb Foundation, Inc. (TCF), which is using bond proceeds to buy and renovate Mohawk Forest, a 190-unit mixed-income multifamily rental housing complex in North Adams. As part of the project, The Caleb Foundation will also convert four market-rate units to affordable; upon completion, 187 units will be affordable, rented to households earning a range of incomes, and three units will be rented at market rate. Construction began in April 2022 and is expected to be completed in spring 2023. Citizens Bank purchased the bond.

Mohawk Forest consists of 31 buildings located on 25.3 acres of land and includes 42 three-bedroom units, 102 two-bedroom units, and 46 one-bedroom units. Renovations to the complex include replacing exterior siding and doors, installing new roofs, windows, and a community room boiler, upgrading bathrooms, electrical, and exterior lighting, painting common areas, and improving accessibility and landscaping.

“MassDevelopment’s tax-exempt financing helps nonprofit housing developers upgrade and preserve the affordability of our housing stock,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “These improvements extend the lifespan of existing affordable units to keep residents housed and in their community.”

“In the middle of a housing crisis, and with the rising pressure of rents, preserving affordable housing is a bird in the hand as we look to increase production across Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “We are pleased to partner with Citizens Bank to help The Caleb Foundation, Inc. in preserving these apartments in North Adams. This project includes much-needed renovations that will improve the longevity of the Mohawk Forest complex and the day-to-day living experience of its residents, and expands affordability by converting several units from market rate to affordable.”

In addition to the tax-exempt bonds, MassDevelopment assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of federal low-income housing tax credits that will provide approximately $10.8 million in equity for the project.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to support this preservation and recapitalization project sponsored by the Caleb Foundation, Inc. and assisted by New Seasons Development LLC consulting,” said Citizens Bank Senior Vice President of Community Development Lending Gene Clerkin. “This effort will ensure long term affordable rents for 187 North Adams families, and maintain long term professional management of the entire community.” 
The Caleb Foundation is a sibling organization of The Caleb Group, Inc., which was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation to acquire, preserve, develop, and manage affordable housing communities. The first Caleb property, Valley View, opened in Bangor, Maine in 1994. Since that time, The Caleb Group has steadily grown to include 29 properties across New England that are home to approximately 4,784 residents. As part of the organization’s mission to provide additional assistance beyond housing, each property has a “community opportunity center” – featuring a community room and a computer center with computers for use by residents – and an on-site service coordinator that provides supportive, educational, and enriching programs and works to connect residents with supportive services in the community.

MassDevelopment has previously supported The Caleb Foundation. In February 2021, the agency issued a $7.6 million tax-exempt bond to help the organization renovate Chestnut Square Apartments and The Sirk Building, two affordable multifamily rental housing facilities in Lowell. 

“Caleb has been proud to provide affordable housing at Mohawk Forest for 23 years,” said The Caleb Group, Inc. President, CEO, and Co-Founder Debbie S. Nutter. “We are extremely pleased to be able to renovate the existing 190 units and in doing so convert some market rate units to much needed affordable housing for Mohawk Forest and the North Adams area. The physical improvements will increase the energy efficiency of the property, helping to reduce our impact on the planet. We are grateful to MassDevelopment, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Citizens Bank for their support in making this positive impact on the lives of people who will call Mohawk Forest home for years to come.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.