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Related Companies announces the renovation and long-term preservation of over 400 units of affordable housing at Westminster Village Arms In Lowell, MA

Related Affordable, a division of Related Companies, today announced the renovation and long-term preservation of 412 units of affordable housing at Westminster Village Arms in Lowell, Massachusetts. Related will undertake over $7.5 million in renovations to the property. MassHousing, Massachusetts’s state affordable housing bank, provided $45 million in financing to facilitate the long-term affordability of the property. Alliant Capital through one of its affiliates, provided $13.7 million in tax credit equity to the project. Westminster Village Arms was built in 1970 and is located at 1349 Pawtucket Boulevard overlooking the Merrimack River.

The development consists of 35 three-story wood-framed buildings on 20 acres of land. The renovations, which cost approximately $17,000 per unit, include the installation of new kitchen and bathroom cabinets and fixtures, flooring and Energy-Star appliances. Energy efficient lighting will also be installed throughout the units. Capital renovations include new siding, roofing and masonry repairs as well as new balcony decking and railing system installation. A new laundry room will be added and building entry doors will be replaced. Improvements are expected to be complete in July 2012.

Mark E. Carbone, President of Related Affordable said, “We are thrilled to be able extend the affordability of over 400 units of housing for an additional 20 years at Westminster Village Arms and commend MassHousing for their critical support. Keeping families in their homes has a tremendous impact on the quality of their lives and simultaneously helps to stabilize neighborhoods. For nearly 40 years, and since our very founding, Related has held a strong commitment to the preservation and revitalization of affordable housing and we are proud to continually invest in improvements that are not only beneficial to the physical structure of buildings, but also significantly improve the quality of life for the residents.”

Of the 432 apartments at Westminster Village Arms, 400 are subsidized by a Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract, which was due to expire on May 31, 2012. As part of this financing, Related secured a 20-year renewal and extension of the Section 8 HAP contract. Of the remaining 32 units, 12 apartments will be restricted to low-income households, with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income ($55,020 for a family of four). Twenty units will be rented at market rate.

MassHousing Executive Director Thomas R. Gleason said, “Westminster Village Arms is a major affordable housing resource for the city of Lowell and its residents and we are pleased that this MassHousing loan closing will extend the affordability for tenants there for many years to come.”

Related Affordable develops, acquires and preserves affordable housing throughout the nation. In August of this year Related acquired Parkway Gardens, a 694-unit affordable housing apartment property in the Southside of Chicago and committed to an additional 30 years of affordability. That same month, Related announced the renovation and 30-year preservation of 258 affordable apartments at three Manhattan sites. ###

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