MassHousing Provides $17.6 Million Affordable Housing Financing for 200 Units in South Dartmouth

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BOSTON – MassHousing has provided $17.6 million in affordable housing financing to the Claremont Companies for the refinancing of the 200-unit Solemar at South Dartmouth. The refinancing of the mixed-income senior citizen community preserves the affordability of the property’s 100 affordable units through 2034.

“This transaction provides a great outcome for the residents of Solemar at South Dartmouth, and for the Claremont Companies,” said MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan. “This refinancing extends housing affordability protections for lower-income senior citizens, and improves the property’s long-term financial health, all without using scarce state resources. And it demonstrates MassHousing’s commitment to working creatively with the owners and developers of affordable housing, to offer competitive financial products suited to their unique needs, while meeting the Commonwealth’s affordable housing challenges.”

The Claremont Companies refinanced the senior housing community through MassHousing’s Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP)/Ginnie Mae Joint Venture Initiative with lender partner Rockport Mortgage Corporation.

MassHousing offers the MAP/Ginnie Mae loan program to the owners of rental housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD approves mortgages in the MAP program for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance.

The combination of FHA insurance and a Ginnie Mae guarantee enables borrowers to access mortgage financing with lower interest rates, while preserving and extending affordability for hundreds of low-income senior citizens and families. The $17.6 million refinancing allowed the Claremont Companies to refinance three existing MassHousing loans, with interest rates of 7.00 percent, 7.05 percent, and 7.69 percent, into a single mortgage with a 3.40 percent interest rate.

Built in 1977, the Solemar at South Dartmouth contains 200 mixed-income rental units, across 25 buildings. Fifty of the affordable units are rented to residents earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), and 50 are rented to residents earning at or below 80 percent of AMI. The remaining 100 units are rented at market rates.

MassHousing has financed or administers federal subsidies at five rental housing communities in Dartmouth involving 603 units. The agency has financed 248 home mortgage loans in Dartmouth, totaling $36.8 million in financing.

MassHousing has partnered with two well-known and experienced MAP lenders: CBRE and Rockport Mortgage Corporation. The MAP lender prepares the submission of each transaction for HUD’s approval. MassHousing then closes the new loan and issues a Ginnie Mae Mortgage Backed Security (MBS), which has consistently provided the multifamily mortgage industry its most competitive long term, taxable interest rates.

With each MAP/Ginnie Mae transaction, MassHousing continues as the mortgagee of record and becomes a Ginnie Mae servicer. This ensures long-term affordability for residents as each completed transaction will require the property owner to rent at least 20 percent of the units to those earning less than 80 percent of the area median income. Affordability at many properties could be at risk were MassHousing unable to offer this product as owners could refinance with other lenders who do not require affordability restrictions.

Headquartered at Lakeshore Center in Bridgewater, the Claremont Companies is a privately owned and closely held real estate investment, development, and asset management firm.

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