MassHousing Closes on $9.6M in Financing for the Renovation and Extension of Affordability at the 85-unit Aurora in Downtown Worcester  

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The Aurora Worcester
The Aurora Hotel was built in 1898 and the six-story, Classic Revival building was converted to housing in the 1980s. It is located two blocks from Polar Park with walkable access to downtown Worcester. The Community Builders plan approximately $10.7 million in property improvements to the former hotel that was converted to rental housing in the 1980s. The general contractor is Keith Construction. The architect is Architecture Environmental Life, Inc. The management agent is TCB.

MassHousing has closed on $9.6 million in affordable housing financing to The Community Builders (TCB) for the renovation and extension of affordability at the 85-unit The Aurora in downtown Worcester.

TCB plans approximately $10.8 million in property renovations to the apartment units and building systems and infrastructure. All 85 units will remain affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). The rehabilitation of the Main Street property will be a catalyst for an underserved block in the city’s Central Business District.

“The Aurora is an important source of affordable housing in downtown Worcester, but the property is in need of a significant upgrade,” said MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay. “MassHousing is pleased that the residents of the Aurora will soon see those improvements and the extension of their affordability, while this project will further the revitalization of this central part of the city’s downtown.”

“TCB is committed to providing stable housing and supportive services that make neighborhoods stronger, and we’re thrilled to partner with MassHousing to preserve 85 affordable homes for residents at The Aurora,” said Rachana Crowley, Senior Director of Real Estate Development at The Community Builders. “This critical funding from MassHousing will support our most vulnerable residents, some as they transition from foster care, access mental and behavioral healthcare, and pursue their own dreams. On behalf of our organization, I extend my deepest thanks and a well-earned congratulations to the numerous partners and leaders integral to this project’s success including MassHousing, the City of Worcester, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and most especially the residents of The Aurora.”

MassHousing is supporting the rehabilitation of The Aurora with $1.6 million in permanent and construction tax-exempt financing and $8 million in tax-exempt bridge financing. Other financing sources include $6.76 million of equity from the allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), $5.3 million in direct support from EOHLC, $2.46 million in federal Historic Tax Credit equity, $640,500 from the sale of state historic credits, a $3.8 million seller note, $350,000 in Worcester HOME funds, and $460,000 awarded by the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) through the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. The tax credit syndicator is Raymond James Affordable Housing Investments, with Dorfman Capital as the broker for the state historic credits.

Of the 85 studio apartments, 25 are restricted to households earning up to 30 percent of AMI and subsidized by the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), five of the units are restricted to households earning up to 30 percent of AMI and supported by the federal Section 811program for disabled individuals, 22 of the units are restricted to households earning up to 50 percent of AMI and subsidized by MRVP, and 33 units are restricted to households earning up to 60 percent of AMI. All of the units will remain affordable for at least 20 years.