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MassDevelopment Bond Helps Centerboard, Inc. Create Temporary Housing for Homeless Residents

August 4, 2020


Louisa Stone, MassDevelopment, 857-283-3340 (cell)

Sara Brown

MassDevelopment has issued a $7,080,800 tax-exempt bond for Centerboard, Inc., a Lynn nonprofit focused on increasing economic opportunities for North Shore residents. Centerboard will use bond proceeds to buy, renovate, and equip six properties that will be used as temporary housing or programming space for homeless families and individuals. The organization will also use bond proceeds to refinance previously issued debt for nine additional properties that were purchased and renovated for the same purposes. Altogether, the 15 properties, located in Beverly, Lynn, Peabody, and Salem, offer 46 units of rehabilitated housing. Citizens Bank purchased the bond.

“The challenges homeless individuals face today are more critical than ever,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is proud to once again be a resource for Centerboard, Inc. as the organization develops housing for those in need and continues offering important services throughout the North Shore.”

MassDevelopment has previously provided financing for numerous Centerboard Inc. facilities and projects. In April 2014, MassDevelopment provided a $1,125,000 loan to help Centerboard buy and renovate its current headquarters at 16 City Hall Square in Lynn; in November 2017, Centerboard crowdfunded $20,360 and received a $20,000 matching grant from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program for a project to illuminate High Rock Tower in Lynn; and in August 2017, MassDevelopment issued a $5.9 million tax-exempt bond to help Centerboard buy and renovate four properties in Chelsea, Lynn, and Melrose to be used as group homes, and a fifth property to be used for supportive programming.

Founded in 1988 as Serving People in Need, Centerboard, Inc. began as a collaborative effort among Lynn’s business, public, and private communities to address increasing homelessness as a result of job losses, industry closures, and declining investments. It has since grown into an organization serving more than 1,500 people annually by providing housing, employment programs, independent living programs, and an adolescent group home. Centerboard provides specialized support services for mothers ages 13 to 20.5 and their children through its Teen Parenting Programs, employment programs for mothers ages 18 and up,  independent living programs for clients ages 16 to 22, and manages the Lynn Family Forward Resource Center, which is a single point of entry for family members to access support services. The organization also participates in the growing arts and culture movement in Lynn by spearheading public art projects and supporting the Downtown Lynn Cultural District.

“We continue to be grateful in MassDevelopment’s commitment to Centerboard,” said Centerboard, Inc. CEO Mark DeJoie. “This will allow us to continue to provide stability and improve the quality of life for many and combat issues surrounding homelessness in Essex County.”

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.