BOSTON – MassHousing has closed on a total of $23.5 million in affordable housing financing to the non-profit 2Life Communities, for the expansion of the Golda Meir House in Newton. The financing will allow 2Life Communities to construct 68 new rental homes for seniors, including deeply affordable units for very low-income households.
The project will expand the existing 199-unit Golda Meir House, adding 68 new apartment homes in a new seven-story building addition and a new five-story building addition that will both connect to the existing main building. Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023.
“2Life Communities is an innovative leader in providing high quality housing and supportive services to seniors, and MassHousing is very pleased to be a partner in 2Life’s effort to add 68 new apartment homes on its Golda Meir House campus,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “We also thank the City of Newton for making substantial contributions to this important project, by making land available for this expansion and providing direct financial support.”
“We are really grateful to MassHousing, the City of Newton, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and philanthropic partners who have made this expansion possible. We are thrilled to be able to bring our aging in community to additional residents; with our current waiting lists, people often wait seven to 10 years or more for an affordable apartment, losing out on the engagement, connection and health benefits from our model,” said 2Life Communities President and CEO Amy Schectman.
“As Mayor, I am committed to providing homes and supportive services for older residents, including those with limited resources. Partnering with Amy Schectman and 2Life Communities and working with MassHousing, I am pleased Newton provided funding from our Community Preservation Fund and our federal Home Investment program to help add not just 68 apartments, 60 of which are permanently affordable, but also community, warmth, programs and services for older residents,” said Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller.
MassHousing provided 2Life Communities with an $8.1 million tax-exempt construction and permanent loan and $15.4 million in tax credit equity bridge financing.
Other financing sources included a total of $17 million in state and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity allocated by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $3 million in direct support from DHCD, and $2 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which MassHousing manages of behalf of DHCD. The transaction also involved $4.7 million in Community Preservation Act and HOME funding from the City of Newton, $4 million in HUD Section 202 Capital Advance Funds, and approximately $3 million in sponsor loans. The tax credit investor is Wells Fargo.
Of the 68 new apartment homes, 45 will be supported for lower-income residents with federal project based rental subsidies, five units will be restricted to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), 10 units will be restricted to households earning up to 100 percent of AMI, and seven units will be rented at market rates. One unit will be occupied by graduate students who wish to share their learning with 2Life residents. The Area Median Income for Newton is $120,800 for a household of four.
There will be 57 one-bedroom apartments and 11 two-bedroom apartments. The general contractor will be Colantonio Inc. The architect is Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, and the management agent is 2Life Communities.
The expansion was made possible by 2Life Communities being awarded development rights to a parcel of adjacent land owned by the City of Newton. The Golda Meir campus is located near the Woodland MBTA Green Line station, a hospital and medical facilities, and houses of worship.
Golda Meir House was built in two phases in 1978 and 1995, and 2Life Communities completed a major renovation of the property in 2018 that involved $37.8 million in MassHousing financing. The renovation projected included the creation of a first-floor village center, increased accessibility, the installation of walk-in showers and state of the art green features.
MassHousing has financed 11 rental housing communities in Newton totaling 1,283 units and $270.4 million in overall financing. The Agency has also provided home mortgage loans to 147 homebuyers and homeowners in Newton with an original purchase principal balance of $26 million.