Photo courtesy of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

An $18 million, 49-unit affordable housing development in Roxbury has secured permanent financing from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Construction on Urban Edge’s Walker Park Apartments, made up of two multifamily buildings constructed on the site of two vacant single-family homes just north of Egleston Square, was completed in 2019. The two energy-efficient buildings are collectively named after the late neighborhood activist Delphine Walker, who raised her family on the site of one of the buildings at 80 Walnut Park. It consists of 13 one-, 28 two- and 8 three-bedroom apartments. Thirty-eight apartments are affordable to households below 60 percent of area median income and 11 are affordable to families earning under 30 percent of area median income. Five homes are set aside for families transitioning from homelessness. Six of these homes are set aside for people with disabilities.

MHP closed the 16-year, $2.5 million permanent loan in late March at 3.88 percent interest and a 30-year amortization term. The loan was achieved through a direct bond placement, in which tax-exempt bonds issued by MassDevelopment were purchased by Bank of America, with its proceeds converted to an MHP permanent loan upon completion of construction and leasing of apartments.

“During these uncertain times, we are proud to be able to provide Urban Edge with this low-cost financing so it can continue to provide affordable housing and services to the people it has served so well for over five decades,” MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler said in a statement. “Strong community-based nonprofits like Urban Edge hold the city’s neighborhoods together and we’re proud to support them at a time when they are needed more than ever.”

The closing was completed as MHP and Urban Edge were shifting to working remotely while figuring out how to file necessary legal documents with the Registry of Deeds, which was closed due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

“We wish to thank MHP for its ongoing support of Walker Park Apartments,” said Urban Edge CEO Emilio Dorcely. “Not only will these resources help to support 49 affordable homes for families and individuals living in Egleston Square, they stand as a testament to the vision and hard work of Delphine Walker, whose efforts to improve the neighborhood remain an important touchstone for Roxbury and beyond.”

Roxbury Affordable Project Lands Permanent Loan

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min