MassHousing has closed on $1.8 million in affordable and workforce housing financing to the non-profit Home City Development, Inc., to transform the former Elias Brookings School in Springfield into 42 new apartments for households with a range of incomes.
The three-story, masonry, concrete and steel building was used as a public school from 1926 until it was damaged by the 2011 tornado in Springfield.
“This project, which will redevelop a damaged public asset into 42 new mixed-income apartments, is a great outcome for the families who will soon call the Elias Brookings Apartments home, and for the City of Springfield,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “We were pleased to be among Home City Development’s financing partners in a transaction that will create quality housing options and economic opportunities for Springfield residents long into the future.”
“We are excited to finally see this long-awaited transformation begin. We are also humbled by the enormous contributions by our funders and the support we have received from almost every part of the Springfield community. It truly feels like a community event,” said Home City Development Executive Director Tom Kegelman.
MassHousing is providing Home City Development with a $1.1 million permanent loan and $700,000 in financing from the Agency’s Workforce Housing Initiative.
Other financing sources include $9.3 million in equity financing from the allocation of federal Low-Income House Tax Credits by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $4.4 million in historic tax credit equity financing, approximately $2.1 million in direct support from DHCD, $1 million in funding from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which MassHousing manages on behalf of DHCD, $735,000 in funding from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, $250,000 in Springfield Community Preservation Act financing, and $38,958 in federal Solar Investment Tax Credit funding.
The Elias Brookings Apartments advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s goal of creating at least 1,000 new workforce housing units affordable to middle-income households through MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative. Since the inception of the initiative in 2016, MassHousing has committed or closed workforce housing financing totaling $116.5 million, to 54 projects, located in 22 cities and towns. To date, the Workforce Housing Initiative has advanced the development of 4,669 housing units across a range of incomes, including 1,308 middle-income workforce units.
Located at 367 Hancock Street in Springfield, the project will create 12 new one-bedroom apartments, 25 two-bedroom apartments, and five three-bedroom apartments. Fifteen of the apartments will be supported by project-based housing vouchers and will be restricted to households earning less than 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), 20 of the units will be restricted to households earning up to 60 percent of AMI and seven apartments will be workforce housing units restricted to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI. The Area Median Income for Springfield is $77,200 for a household of four.
MassHousing has financed 12 rental housing communities in Springfield totaling 2,564 units of housing with an overall original loan amount of $157.4 million. The Agency has also provided home mortgage loans to 4,736 homebuyers and homeowners in Springfield with an original purchase principal balance of $356.7 million.