CAMBRIDGE, MA —Cambridge Savings Bank (CSB) announced that it has invested $1 million in Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund II (HNEF II).
Developed by Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) and Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), HNEF II doubles the size of the first Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund (HNEF I), created to finance inclusive mixed-use developments near public transportation that offer retail, housing, and social services to support healthier communities.
HNEF II, a private equity fund, raised $42M, and its stewards intend to use the strategic capital to finance over 450 homes in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The fund will expand efforts to clean up environmentally degraded properties and repurpose abandoned locations to create new low-carbon housing. As part of this commitment, HNEF II will encourage developers to create energy efficient and resilient buildings, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and increase the health and safety of occupants through project design and operations.
“The contribution from CSB to the Healthy Neighborhood Equity Funds will help us further develop healthy housing, safe streets, and increased access to jobs, green spaces, fresh food, and other goods and services,” said Elizabeth Ronayne, Chief Capital Development Officer at Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. “We are thankful for the continued partnership with CSB in our efforts to create strong and sustainable neighborhoods across New England.”
CSB also contributed $1M to HNEF I, which is now fully invested in a portfolio of nine projects in greater Boston for a total of $21.5M. These projects leveraged an additional $144M of private and public investment in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, resulting in the creation of 586 new mixed-income housing units, over 139,000 square feet of commercial space, and over 600 construction jobs.
“Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation and Conservation Law Foundation are driving impactful change with both Healthy Neighborhood Equity Funds. It is an honor to play a small role in such a transformative initiative that will uplift communities across multiple different states,” said Michael Kuhn, SVP, and Team Leader in Commercial Lending at Cambridge Savings Bank. “We will continue to partner with organizations like MHIC and CLF that support underserved communities by providing increased access to safe and affordable housing.”
Three HNEF II transactions have closed for developments in Brockton, Dorchester, and Hamilton, MA for a total of 102 mixed-income homes. The Fund pairs lower-cost equity and longer investment periods with rigorous screening for community, health, and environmental benefits using CLF’s HealthScoreTM tool. HNEF is structured to ensure the benefits of these community investments flow to people of color and minority business enterprises in those communities. MHIC collaborates with project sponsors to set racial equity and inclusion goals to increase the participation of underserved business owners and minority workers in the construction contracts.