MassHousing Closes on Financing

Squirrelwood rendering

Boston – MassHousing has closed on $22.8 million in affordable housing financing to the non-profit, Just-A-Start Corporation (JAS), for the construction of 23 affordable apartments and to renovate and preserve the affordability of 65 existing apartment units in Cambridge.

MassHousing provided Just-A-Start with an $8.2 million permanent loan, a $13.6 million bridge loan and $1 million from the agency’s $100 million Workforce Housing Initiative

JAS is combining the 45-unit Linwood Court and 20-unit Squirrel Brand affordable housing communities and will construct 23 new affordable units on a portion of its Linwood Court property. The new, 88-unit housing community will be named Squirrelwood and will be available to households earning a range of incomes, including 10 units of workforce housing for middle-income families.

Squirrelwood’s existing 65 units are contained in 10 buildings on three parcels of land located within blocks of each other. The 23 new units will be contained in three buildings – two of new construction – and overall there will be three studio apartments, 14 one-bedroom apartments, 32 two-bedroom apartments, 35 three-bedroom apartments, two four-bedroom apartments and two five-bedroom apartments.

Among the renovations planned by JAS on the existing properties are the replacement of kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring in individual units, as well as new siding, roofs, hot water piping, and windows. The buildings will be made significantly more energy efficient through the addition of new insulation, and new landscaping will be added to the site.

The contractor will be Callahan Construction Managers. The architect is Davis Square Architects and the management agent is Maloney Properties.

Of the 88 units, 78 will be for households earning at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) with 24 units supported by the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program and 10 units be supported by federal Section 8 Housing Assistance payment vouchers. The remaining 10 apartments will be workforce housing units for households earning at or below 100% of AMI. The AMI in Cambridge is $113,300 for a family of four.