In Cambridge, 112 Units of Affordable Housing Preserved Thanks to $30.5 Million MassDevelopment Bond

June 30, 2020


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-694-9695 (cell)

Luis Vasquez, Cambridge Housing Authority, 617-520-6415

MassDevelopment has issued a $30.5 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Roosevelt Towers Family LLC, an affiliate of the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA), which will use bond proceeds to renovate and preserve Roosevelt Towers Low Rise, a 112-unit affordable multifamily rental housing facility in Cambridge. In addition to the tax-exempt bond, MassDevelopment assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of federal low-income housing tax credits, which will provide approximately $19.2 million in equity for the project. Boston Private Bank purchased the bond.

“The preservation of Roosevelt Towers Low Rise means more than 100 families can continue to access quality, affordable housing near Cambridge’s Inman Square,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We are pleased to once again partner with the Cambridge Housing Authority, a steward of affordable housing for this city, to ensure the long-term affordability of these important units.”

Roosevelt Towers Low Rise is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 18 Disposition program. This program helps public housing authorities preserve housing facilities by converting units from their original sources of HUD financing to project-based Section 8 contracts, thereby allowing them to secure private and alternative public sources of capital financing for maintenance and improvements. Planned renovations to Roosevelt Towers Low Rise include replacing central heating and ventilation systems and select kitchen and bathroom fixtures; installing a new roof, windows, and entry doors; completing masonry repointing and sealing; and upgrading the plumbing and electrical service.

MassDevelopment has previously provided financing for numerous Cambridge Housing Authority facilities, including a $42 million tax-exempt bond in April 2016 for the purchase and renovation of the Frank J. Manning Apartments, a 204-unit affordable rental housing facility primarily serving the elderly and disabled; a $30.8 million tax-exempt bond in March 2016 for the demolition and reconstruction of Jefferson Park, a 108-unit, 100-percent affordable multifamily housing development; $104 million in tax-exempt bonds in April 2015 for three affordable multifamily housing development projects, preserving a total of 511 affordable housing units; and a $30 million tax-exempt bond in September 2010 for the renovation of Jackson Gardens, a 45-unit affordable housing facility, and the demolition and reconstruction of Lincoln Way, a 70-unit affordable housing facility.

“We very much appreciate our longstanding partnership with MassDevelopment,” said Cambridge Housing Authority Executive Director Michael Johnston. “Cambridge has some of the highest rents in the country, and MassDevelopment’s commitment to fund renovations at Roosevelt Towers was a critical element in allowing the project to move forward and ensuring the property will remain affordable to lower-income households.”

Established under state law on December 9, 1935, the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) provides long-term rental housing and rental assistance to more than 7,000 low-income families, elders, and disabled individuals through its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs. CHA invests in Cambridge families and provides enhanced support to almost 12% of the city population. By tailoring its approach to focus on policy innovation and family economic opportunities, the organization is able to meet its mission to develop and manage safe, quality, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families in a manner that promotes citizenship, community, and self-reliance in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth. During FY2019, MassDevelopment financed or managed 316 projects generating investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 9,743 jobs and build or preserve 1,992 housing units.