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Renovations of affordable housing celebrated in Cambridge

Posted by Brock Parker  June 7, 2012 10:58 AM

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Caritas Communities Inc. celebrated the renovation of 128 units of affordable housing in Central Square Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Cambridge Family YMCA.

The $10 million project renovated the largest licensed lodging housing for men in Cambridge, which is located at the Y at 820 Massachusetts Ave.

The renovations included new bathrooms, elevators, heating systems, a new roof and masonry repairs.

Funding was provided through private equity, public lending and tax-exempt bond financing, according to Caritas Communities, a non-profit organization that owns and manages 28 single-room occupancy houses and provides housing for more than 750 men and women in the Greater Boston area.

MassDevelopment issued the bond and with the Department of Housing and Community Development allocated low-income housing tax credits that generated approximately $2.8 million in equity. Other contributors or participants in raising the funding for the project included The Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, BrooklineBank, Cambridge Savings Bank, Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, the City of Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust, the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

“This was a great partnership among private and public funders to preserve the affordability of this key property,” said Mark Winkeller, executive director of Caritas Communities, in a press release about the renovations.

“Here we are in the center of Cambridge, in a beautiful building, making permanent affordable housing available to 128 people who otherwise would have very few options. With the help of a lot of individuals and financing institutions, we hope that this building will be a resource for the City and the Commonwealth forever.”

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