Cambridge Housing Authority Preserving, Renovating 511 Affordable Housing Units with $104 Million in MassDevelopment Bonds

April 16, 2015


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

MassDevelopment has issued tax-exempt bonds totaling $104 million for three affordable multi-family rental housing development projects in Cambridge. The bonds, purchased by Citi Community Capital, were issued on behalf of three LLCs newly created by the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA), which has owned the properties: Newtowne Court LLC, Woodrow Wilson Court LLC, and Washington Elms LLC. In total, the three projects will preserve 511 affordable units in Cambridge and support 312 construction jobs.

"The redevelopment of more than five hundred affordable units in Cambridge will help to provide quality, accessible housing opportunities to those in need in one of the Commonwealth's most competitive housing markets," said Marty Jones, MassDevelopment President and CEO. "MassDevelopment is pleased to work with the Cambridge Housing Authority and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to support these important redevelopment initiatives."

MassDevelopment assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in securing approximately $57 million in federal low income housing tax credit equity for the projects. These credits have been purchased by Wells Fargo Affordable Housing Development Corporation.

CHA is a national leader in the development, management, and administration of subsidized affordable housing for more than 5,000 households of low-income elders, families, and disabled individuals. CHA develops and manages safe, good-quality, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families in a manner that promotes citizenship, community, and self-reliance.

"Partnering with MassDevelopment on financing for these projects has enabled Cambridge Housing Authority to preserve long-term affordability in one of the highest-cost markets in the country," said CHA Executive Director Gregory Ross. "Taking these actions today will result in open doors for CHA's residents now and far into the future."

The projects were able to use MassDevelopment tax-exempt bonds and federal low income housing tax credits to make the improvements essential for preserving and protecting the developments as affordable resources through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In December 2014, MassDevelopment issued a $29 million bond on behalf of another CHA development, Putnam Gardens LLC—a 122-unit multi-family affordable housing facility—which also benefited from the RAD program.

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units.