ATTLEBORO — The nonprofit Retirement Housing Foundation and The Schochet Companies have closed on the acquisition of Hillcrest Acres Apartments, preserving 100 units of affordable housing, it was announced Friday.
Hillcrest Acres, located at 1101 Hillside Ave., is an expired Rent Supplement and Section 236 property, with a mixed income, but mostly affordable, resident population, the announcement said.
“With all affordability restrictions having expired, the project was at high risk of being lost to a market rate buyer, potentially leading to community disruption and displacement of many lower income households,” it said.
“I am pleased to welcome Hillcrest Acres to the RHF family of 198 communities,” RHF President and CEO Laverne Joseph said. “There is a large and growing need for affordable housing and we are doing our best to address that need.”
According to the announcement, the development team worked with the property owner for over a year to reach agreement on a transaction. To facilitate preservation, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation has provided a $8.4 million acquisition loan, allowing for a bridge to a low-income housing tax credit transaction. Coupled with financing and funding from other public sources, it “allows for a major rehabilitation of dwelling units and most major systems.”
“Preserving affordable housing is an important part of CEDAC’s mission,” said Roger Herzog, CEDAC’s executive director. “Hillcrest Acres was far along the path of conversion from affordable housing to market rate, but thanks to this acquisition, all 100 apartments will have long-term affordability restrictions.”
The acquisition will preserve 100 units of affordable housing “while preventing existing tenants from displacement,” Herzog said.
Completed in 1974, Hillcrest Acres is a garden-style multi-family community located on just over 9 wooded acres. It consists of 10 residential buildings spread throughout the property and has picnic and barbecue areas, play areas, and a 3,000-square-foot community/office building on site.
Founded in 1961, RHF is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to provide a range of housing options and services for older adults, low-income families, and persons with disabilities.
It is affiliated with the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries of the United Church of Christ and LeadingAge and its state affiliates, and also co-sponsors housing development with other varied denominational and community organizations. RHF sponsors and manages 198 communities in 29 states and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This will be RHF’s 12th community in Massachusetts.
Schochet Associates Inc. is a real estate development and management company founded in 1973. Since that time, the company has developed, owned, and/or managed in excess of 7,000 apartments and over 600,000 square feet of retail and commercial space throughout New England and on the West Coast. Today, it owns and/or manages 5,000 apartments and 100,000 square feet of commercial space throughout New England.
CEDAC is a public-private community development finance institution that provides financial resources and technical expertise for community-based and other nonprofit organizations engaged in community development in Massachusetts.