In a major announcement by Gov. Charlie Baker, the affordable housing project slated for the former St. Therese’s Church on Broadway received funding to get the ball rolling and get the project underway.
City officials and officials from The Neighborhood Developers (TND) were on hand to accept the award from the state. The award boils down to about $1.5 million in federal tax credits, about $600,000 in state tax credits, and about $6.9 million in state subsidized loans.
“That award means this project has a green light to go forward with construction,” said TND Executive Director Rafael Mares. “We expect to be in construction within six months – the first quarter of 2020 or so. It will all be done together in one phase. If the estimates hold, we could have it complete in 2021.”
Mares said the project would consist of 77 affordable units for those 62 and older in a new building on the church site, and the ground level space would be occupied by a health center operated by East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC). The project also includes six new, three-bedroom townhouse condos developed beside the new building. They would all be affordable, with three at 80 percent AMI and three at 120 percent AMI.
“We’re so excited because this is the first building we’re doing that combines affordable housing with a health center,” said Mares. “It will allow people to age in place. If you lived in Everett all your life and health care needs, you can live in an affordable apartment and see your doctor right in the building – along with having amenities like a fitness center and wellness center.”
He added that the name of the building would be the ‘St. Therese.’
“As the councilor from Ward Three, I’m ecstatic to see this development in the ward,” said Councilor Anthony DiPierro, who attended the announcement. “Affordable housing is the number one issue I face with my constituents and this project will help address our ongoing housing challenges. This is one of the biggest things to happen in the ward for a while.”
Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he fully supported the effort, and said he spoke in favor of it early on.
“Early on I supported this project fully understanding the importance it would have on the residents of our city to bring in a 40b development which will help our residents in a big way with affordable housing options in our community,” said McLaughlin. “As your City Council I will always fight to bring in affordable housing to keep our residents in our city and not being pushed out by the new growth excitement and success of our community.”
Mares said they had been invited into the community to work on affordable housing opportunities, and was glad to bring this project to fruition.
He said it had been many years since Everett had received a state grant for affordable housing construction.
“We hope to do more in Everett,” he said. “We think it’s a great complement to Chelsea and Revere, where we already work. We were invited into the community and hope to be helpful going forward. Right now we’re thinking about other opportunities, but nothing is planned yet. We focusing on this being a great start.”