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Nonprofit Buys 3 Affordable Housing Properties As Public Funding Ramps Up

Gardner Terrace II at 169 Knight Ave. in Attleboro, one of three properties Preservation of Affordable Housing purchased with a loan from MassHousing.

Nonprofit group Preservation of Affordable Housing has acquired three Attleboro affordable housing communities.

POAH used a $17.2M short-term loan from MassHousing to purchase the 83-unit Hebronville Mill, the 92-unit Gardner Terrace I and the 52-unit Gardner Terrace II and will be making capital improvements.

POAH also has plans in place for a second loan that will be used for major renovations, to extend the properties’ affordability and recapitalize them, according to a release from MassHousing, which did not provide a timeline for the anticipated second loan.

“Hebronville Mill and Gardner Terrace I and II are in need of financial stability and significant property improvements to ensure that these 227 rental homes remain a viable, affordable option for the families and individuals who live there,” MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay said in the release. “POAH is a high-capacity organization with a deep commitment to serving the needs of lower-income residents, and MassHousing is pleased to be able to partner with them on this important revitalization effort.” 

MassHousing has been busy in the greater Boston area of late, even as other lenders' slowing affordable housing financing has resulted in project delays. It closed at the beginning of August on an $87.2M loan to modernize and preserve affordability at the 300-unit 808 Memorial Drive in Cambridge. It then made a $32.7M loan to extend affordability at least 31 years at the 194-unit Mountain View Terrace in Stoneham. 

The city of Boston has also returned to affordable housing funding. Mayor Marty Walsh's administration released two requests for proposals totaling about $30M this week, marking the first time since construction restarted in June that the city offered funding. The RFPs are part of Walsh’s 2018 update to the Housing a Changing City: Boston in 2030 plan that committed the city to creating nearly 16,000 new income-restricted units.

Gardner Terrace I, which is located at 46 Pine St. near downtown Attleboro, and Gardner Terrace II, a two-building complex at 169 Knight Ave. that is attached to Hebronville Mill, comprise one-bedroom apartments supported by Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contracts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Hebronville Mill, which comprises one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in six buildings at 988 Read St., has 40 units set aside for tenants earning 80% or less of the area median income, which is $87K for a household of four. Of those, 32 units are supported by the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program.