With partners, City preserves 88 rental units in Chinatown
BOSTON – Saturday, April 1, 2017 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined The Community Builders (TCB), MassHousing, City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development local elected officials and Chinatown residents to celebrate the grand re-opening of the newly-renovated Chauncy House Apartments in Chinatown. In total, the redevelopment preserved 88 affordable rental units and created a new community room for low-income families.
“This is an important preservation project in a neighborhood where affordable rental housing is in high demand. This project has shown that when we work together, we are able to maintain the rich character of Chinatown,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I want to congratulate all of our partners who helped make this renovation possible – I know it means a world of difference to the families who will continue to live here in Chinatown.”
The historic Chauncy House was built in 1922 in Chinatown, and has been an affordable housing resource for the Chinatown community for the last 45 years.The building was originally constructed as an office building and subsequently converted for residential use in 1973 through HUD’s Section 236 program. The property was acquired and renovated by The Community Builders in 1997, but with the Section 236 mortgage and its related affordability restrictions set to expire in 2015, TCB the City of Boston and TCB implemented a plan to preserve Chauncy House’s affordability for the long term and restore the building’s historic features.
The $34 million recapitalization plan was completed with the help of several partners, including MassHousing, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Cambridge Housing Authority.
The project made significant improvements to the building, including new kitchens and bathrooms in units; installation of high efficiency heating systems and upgrades to building mechanical and life safety systems; installation of new, historically accurate aluminum windows; and new retail storefronts and sidewalks at the street level. The first floor was also reconfigured to provide a community space for residents and visitors to gather. Chauncy House residents remained in their units during the majority of the 13-month rehabilitation of the property and not a single resident was permanently displaced as a result of the renovations.
“The Community Builders are committed to preserving and constructing affordable and mixed income housing in the city of Boston,” said Bart Mitchell, TCB president and CEO. “The renovation of this beautiful, historic building preserves high quality affordable housing to local families in an area of Boston with rising rents.”
Chauncy House has 88 studio and one-bedroom apartments with 10 percent of the units restricted to families making no more than 30 percent of annual median income (AMI), 85 percent of the units are restricted to families making no more than 50 percent of AMI and five percent of the units are restricted to families making no more than 60 percent AMI. Five of the units were made handicapped-accessible as a result of the rehabilitation.
Financing for this project includes tax-exempt bond financing through MassHousing, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which raised over $9.7 million in equity, and federal and state Historic Tax Credits, which raised a total of $3.7 million in equity. The project would not have been possible without the commitment of HUD, which facilitated the recapitalization transaction and provided project-based rental subsidy for the project. As a result of the redevelopment, 100 percent of the units now have a project based rental subsidy and residents will never pay more than 30 percent of their income towards rent.
About The Community Builders, Inc.
The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) is one of America’s leading nonprofit real estate developers and owners. Our mission is to build and sustain strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve their full potential. We realize our mission by developing, financing and operating high-quality housing and implementing neighborhood-based models that drive economic opportunity for our residents. Since 1964, we have constructed or preserved hundreds of affordable and mixed-income housing developments and secured billions of dollars in project financing from public and private sources. Today, we own or manage 11,000 apartments in 14 states. We are headquartered in Boston with regional hubs in Chicago and Washington, D.C.