Press Release — Flipping Gentrification
Nonprofit Developer Breaks Ground for Construction of First Purpose-Built Affordable Condominiums in Somerville, Mass., in Over a Decade
Somerville, MA, September 9, 2017 – Daniel LeBlanc, Somerville Community Corporation CEO, and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone were joined by Lionel Romain of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation and Dan May, vice president, East Boston Savings Bank, on Saturday, September 9th at a Groundbreaking Ceremony for new construction of affordable condominiums at 163 Glen Street, East Somerville, Mass. The project by nonprofit developer Somerville Community Corporation and co-developer Doug George is an adaptive reuse of an old American Legion Post in East Somerville and is the first purpose-built affordable homeownership condominium construction in Somerville in more than a decade.
A unique feature of the project is that, other than the traditional construction loan from East Boston Savings Bank, it is being financed exclusively from the City of Somerville with funds made available through the Community Preservation Act.
“Since the crash a decade ago, it’s been nearly impossible to build new condo developments where the majority of those condos are affordable,” states Danny LeBlanc, CEO of Somerville Community Corporation. “It’s a testimony to the commitment of the Mayor and his team at the City that we are able to break ground at 163 Glen Street, with eight of the eleven new condos dedicated as affordable, and with funds committed by the City itself.”
In addition to CPA monies, the City is providing funding through the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Somerville HOME allocation and the Community Challenge Grant. Both HOME and the Community Challenge Grant funds are provided to the City of Somerville through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
SCC acquired the property to create 11 condominiums and provide homeownership opportunities for Somerville residents of moderate income. Eight of the units will be designated as affordable, which will allow people at 80%, 100% and 110% Area Median Income (AMI) to purchase housing in Somerville’s very hot housing market. Three units will be market rate, which helps raise additional revenue to support the construction.
The groundbreaking kicked-off the City of Somerville’s day-long Community Preservation Act 5thAnniversary Celebration.
With our members, SCC works to sustain affordability and livability for the residents of Somerville, Mass. We focus on amplifying the power of low and moderate-income people, recent immigrants and generational descendants of earlier immigrants through organizing, housing development and economic stability programs.
List of Funding Sources
- Somerville Community Preservation Act
- Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund
- Somerville Community Challenge Grant, awarded by U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
- Somerville HOME Investment Partnership, awarded by HUD
- East Boston Savings Bank
- Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC)
For more on the Glen Street project: https://somervillecdc.org/news/new-affordable-homeownership-coming-somerville, or Jesse Kanson-Benanav, 617.776.5931
About the Community Preservation Act and Anniversary Celebration: The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a Massachusetts state law that enables municipalities to create a steady funding source for affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation land projects. Somerville adopted the CPA in 2012. SCC convened a broad base of partners, including Mayor Curtatone, through the Committee for a Stronger Somerville to oversee the campaign for a CPA. The campaign was successful, with the support of over three-quarters of Somerville voters. To date, $12 million has been awarded in CPA funds to 42 projects across the City. The September 9th day-long CPA 5th anniversary celebration will give the public an opportunity to learn more about the program and see the CPA properties: