CHOICE Housing Complex Breaks Ground

April 5, 2010 : Chelmsford Independent, by Chloe Gotsis

Chelmsford — With a silver shovel in hand, Chelmsford Housing Authority Director David Hedison told a tale Monday afternoon of a dream he and his deputy director had 10 years ago: To create a campus setting for seniors of all economic backgrounds.

On a warm Monday afternoon, a group of town and state officials gathered next to a crane parked in a dirt lot behind the two completed senior housing buildings for the groundbreaking of Chelmsford Housing Opportunities for Integrated and Community Endeavors or CHOICE's 37-unit affordable housing complex for seniors..

“This represents $9.6 million of funding from over a half a dozen sources,” said Hedison.

Town Manager Paul Cohen congratulated the efforts of Hedison, the Housing Authority and its nonprofit arm CHOICE, organized to help fund the senior housing complex.

“When we are getting limited developments [during these times] David and others keep soldiering on,” said Cohen, adding that Hedison will be asking Town Meeting to support two new housing developments at Town Meeting next month fand he fully expects these to pass as well.

Leslie Bos of the state's Department of Housing and Community Development called the CHOICE center a unique approach to affordable housing and commended Hedison and CHA for following through with the project during harsh financial times.

“Thank you for making this important project a reality,” said Bos.

In addition to housing the North Village Complex will include an on-site medical center and laboratory through a partnership with Saints Medical Center and an All Care Adult Health Center with on-site 24 hour staff care for residents.

Tony Fracasso of MassDevelopment Finance Agency, who is financing the project with tax-exempt bonds said the state's finance authority was honored to help fund this project.

“It takes many many sources to produce affordable housing and that's a reality,” said Fracasso.

The bonds were purchased through Enterprise Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston.

Hedison worked closely with Enterprise Bank throughout the process of applying for funding for the development, which will include 32 one bedroom units and five two bedroom units.

“What's important about this project is the passion,” said Ryann Dunn of Enterprise Bank. “David is obviously very passionate about the elderly in this community.

The project will be built and designed by Mastue &Associate Architects, Inc. and Landmark Structures Corporation. The project was funded by a culmination of funding from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the state DHCD, MA Affordable Housing Trust Fund, MassDevelopment, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, Chelmsford Community Preservation Funds, Enterprise Bank and Charles Farnsworth Trust.

© Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent.