Holyoke, MA – MassDevelopment has issued an $8,511,570 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Voces de Esperanza, LLC, an affiliate of Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. (VOC), which will use proceeds to buy, renovate, and preserve two occupied affordable rental housing buildings (totaling approximately 48,000sf) featuring a total of 36 apartments in Holyoke’s Churchill neighborhood.
The buildings, located at 348 Chestnut St. and 337-351 Chestnut St., were constructed in 1920 and 1999, respectively. Renovations will include making kitchen and bathroom upgrades, with new cabinets, fixtures, and appliances; repairing and repainting walls and ceilings; and installing new flooring and carpeting. The building at 348 Chestnut St. will also gain new entry doors, windows, and repaired and repointed masonry. Additionally, a vacant commercial unit on the ground floor will be converted to one new unit of housing. bankESB purchased the bond, which allowed Voces to achieve a lower cost of capital.
The buildings contain a combined total of 37 housing units consisting of six one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom apartments, and 11 three-bedroom apartments. Ten units will be rented to households earning no more than 30% of area median income (AMI), 15 units rented to households earning no more than 50% of AMI, and 12 units rented to households earning no more than 60% AMI.
In addition to the tax-exempt bond, MassDevelopment assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of federal low-income housing tax credits that will provide approximately $5.7 million in equity for the project.
“Voces de Esperanza is the fulfillment of the vision and hard work of the late Carlos Vega,” said Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia. “His vision inspired the development of the Churchill neighborhood where this project is located. Roughly three decades ago, with Nueva Esperanza, Inc. as the developer, Carlos Vega leveraged the necessary resources and partnerships to rehab, preserve, and build affordable housing totaling 36 units, a project known as Voces de Esperanza. This announcement from MassDevelopment coupled with the Valley Opportunity Council’s (VOC) plan for Voces de Esperanza is an affirmation of the commitment to Carlos Vega’s mission to keep these properties affordable. Thank you to MassDevelopment for your support for this vital project which is such an important part of the fabric of our city’s history.”