The MassHousing financing will allow the CHA to make extensive renovations to the Burns Apartments, including the installation of sustainable building systems, and will extend affordability for low-income senior citizens and residents with disabilities for at least 20 years.
“The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Housing Authority have long been committed to providing quality affordable housing opportunities in the city and MassHousing was pleased to work with them again to ensure that the Burns Apartments will continue to serve residents for decades to come,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “With this transaction, the CHA is making a substantial investment in efficient and environmentally sustainable building systems, which will improve building operations and benefit residents’ quality of life.”
“The CHA is proud again to partner with MassHousing on the financing of the much needed renovations to Burns Apartments. The work we will be able to complete at Burns Apartments with MassHousing’s assistance is transformative and will allow us to provide quality affordable housing for current and future residents for many years to come,” said Michael Johnston, CHA’s Executive Director.
MassHousing is providing the CHA with a $43.7 million tax-exempt permanent loan and a $1.2 million tax credit equity bridge loan. The MassHousing financing generated $36.8 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity. The 198 apartments at the Burns Apartments are supported by a federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract, which the CHA has extended for 20 years as part of the transaction.
The transaction also involved $59.6 million in construction financing from Wells Fargo and $11 million in financing from the Cambridge Housing Authority. Wells Fargo was the tax credit syndicator.
The Burns Apartments consist of 198 housing units in two, six-story midrise buildings located at 30-50 Churchill Ave. in Cambridge. All of the apartments will have one bedroom except for one two-bedroom unit.
The CHA will substantially modernize building systems at the Burns Apartments by improving the building envelope, plumbing, heating and cooling systems. The CHA will also make roof repairs and replace most interior components, including kitchen and bathroom repairs, and will renovate common areas both inside and outside of the buildings. The modernization project will modify 121 studio units into one-bedroom units and create eight ADA-compliant units.
The project is expected to meet Energy Star and Enterprise Green Communities standards for existing buildings. The preservation and modernization project will be funded in part with proceeds from MassHousing’s first sustainability bond transaction.
The general contractor Consigli Construction Co., Inc., the architect is Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc. and the management agent is Cambridge Housing Authority.
MassHousing has financed 17 rental housing communities in Cambridge involving 2,835 housing units and an original total loan amount of $469 million. MassHousing has additionally provided $68.5 million in financing to 551 Cambridge homebuyers or homeowners who refinanced their property.