SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A $21 million project by MassHousing for an affordable housing community in Springfield begins Wednesday.
An official ceremony will take place at Bergen Circle located on 15 Girard Avenue at 11:00 a.m. with city and state officials from MassHousing who closed on $21.2 million in affordable housing financing for extensive rehabilitation of the 201 unit for lower and moderate-income residents.
“Affordable Housing has always been an issue for communities of color, here in Springfield and across the nation. I will always support legislation that ensures individuals are able to afford places to live and I am pleased to see this project getting underway. This renovation undertaking demonstrates how the community voice is joined with the due diligence of community effort and met with the necessary funding to bring a vision into fruition. I have worked hard alongside the Baker-Polito Administration, Springfield City Hall, the Springfield Delegation and many members of this community to help make this dream a reality, a well-deserved and long overdue investment, where the current and future residents of the 11th Hampden district can live, work, play and thrive. It takes a village and I thank all who stepped to the plate to make it happen,” states Rep Williams.
The complex has dealt with many problems in recent years and now city officials say it’s time for a change.
“It’s a long time coming. This project was built in 1974 and we haven’t gone through it like we should have. This will go a long way to make the residents happy with affordable housing. Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be clean,” said Williams.
There are 118 units that will be reserved for households making less than half of the area median income, that’s currently $7,702 for Springfield therefore they are for those less who make than $3,806 a year.
An additional 52 units will be for people making 80 percent of the area median income for those who make nearly $6,200 a year. The remaining 31 will be rented at market rate.
“We were very pleased to join Mayor Sarno, Rep. Bud Williams, The Michaels Organization, and especially the residents of Bergen Circle to celebrate a new beginning for this important housing community in Springfield,” says MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “The renovation planned by Michaels will revitalize the property and provide quality housing and economic opportunities for the Bergen residents for many years into the future.”
“I want to thank MassHousing and the Michaels Development Organization which will undertake the significant improvements to the property for their continued belief and investment in our Springfield. My administration is committed to utilizing any and all means to boost our communities housing stock. This development checks every mark for our low and moderate-income residents and market rate housing.” states Mayor Sarno.
There will be 89 one-bedroom units, 72 two-bedrooms, 20 three-bedrooms, and 20 four-bedroom apartments. Of the 201 units, 170 are supported by federal project-based housing vouchers. 161 of the apartments will be in a seven-story, steel framed building and 40 apartments in seven, two-floor townhomes.