MassDevelopment Financing Package Will Preserve Affordable Housing in Springfield

January 31, 2017


Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

Thomas Kegelman, Better Homes Inc., 413-785-5312 Ext. 101

MassDevelopment has issued a $12,297,105 tax-exempt bond on behalf of BH EHT I LLC, an affiliate of Better Homes Inc., a nonprofit housing organization in Springfield. The organization is using bond proceeds to buy, renovate and equip E. Henry Twiggs Estates, an affordable housing facility in Springfield. The project will preserve all 75 units of existing affordable housing and renovations will include updating electrical wiring, HVAC systems, and plumbing; installing new windows, doors, roofs, flooring, and exterior wall insulation; and making kitchen improvements.

The company will also buy and renovate a vacant commercial building at 437 Bay Street for community and office space that will support the housing facilities. This project represents the first of a two-phase project to renovate and consolidate two housing developments, known as Kenyon College Estates and Neighborhood Homes, in the Mason Square neighborhood of Springfield. TD Bank purchased the bond and MassDevelopment also assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of federal low income housing tax credits that will provide approximately $9.8 million in equity for the project.

“The E. Henry Twiggs development builds upon the momentum of other transformative projects in this important Gateway City and will preserve much-needed housing for years to come,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Increasing and improving the Commonwealth’s stock of housing is one of MassDevelopment’s key priorities, and we’re pleased to support Better Homes Inc. on this project.”   

Better Homes Inc., which does business as Home City Housing, is a multi-service nonprofit housing organization that develops, owns and manages multi-family rental properties in greater Springfield. It owns 423 units in Springfield and Northampton. The organization also provides technical assistance to local governments and nonprofit groups to support the development of affordable housing using various federal and state housing assistance programs. Founded in 1968, Home City Housing seeks to improve the housing stock in greater Springfield while also serving the needs of vulnerable populations, such as mentally ill and chronically homeless individuals. In 2016, the organization launched a full-scale, collaborative resident engagement initiative to build aspirational communities where residents identify their goals, build on their strengths, experience success, and move out of poverty.

“The E. Henry Twiggs development represents a significant investment in one of Springfield’s oldest neighborhoods and the people who live there,” said Tom Kegelman, executive director of Home City Housing. “We are excited by the physical improvements this project brings, but more excited by the personal success we see every day with residents who establish a home, find work, grow healthy and successful children, and go on to buy homes of their own. We are most proud of their contribution to the City of Homes.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.