MassDevelopment Issues $10.3M Bond Financing for Acquisition, Renovation of Putnam School Apartments in Cambridge, Massachusetts

by Jeff Shaw

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — MassDevelopment has issued a $10.3 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Putnam School Apartments LLC, an affiliate of Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA).

The borrower will use the proceeds to buy and renovate Putnam School Apartments, a 33-unit affordable housing facility serving seniors and individuals with disabilities. A historic schoolhouse built in 1890, the building was converted into the Putnam School Apartments in 1983; most of the housing units have not been updated since.

Renovations will include reconfiguring units; addressing major systems, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and ventilation; installing new heating and central air conditioning; replacing hot/cold, sanitary, vent and storm piping; replacing sewer mains to the street; extending the sprinkler system into apartments; and completing major upgrades to the fire alarm system and upgrades to kitchen and bath flooring, lighting, cabinets, counters, fixtures and appliances. Bond proceeds will also be used to convert bathtubs to walk-in showers to support aging in place.

Silicon Valley Bank purchased the bond.

Putnam School Apartments currently includes 24 one-bedroom units and three congregate units (with three separate housing units per congregate unit). As part of the renovations, the congregate units and underutilized spaces will be converted into eight one-bedroom and two two-bedroom units. The unit mix post-rehabilitation will total 32 one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units. All units are reserved for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income ($80,520 for a family of four).

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 $7 million in equity for the project.

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