HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Two buildings in Holyoke’s Churchill neighborhood will undergo a renovation of 36 apartments.

MassDevelopment issued a total of $8,511,570 in a tax-exempt bond on behalf of Voces de Esperanza, LLC, an affiliate of Valley Opportunity Council, Inc., which will use proceeds to buy, renovate, and preserve two occupied affordable rental housing buildings.

The properties located at 348 Chestnut St. and 337-361 Chestnut Street were built in 1920 and 1999. Renovations include kitchen and bathroom upgrades, repairing and repainting walls and ceilings, and installing new flooring and carpeting.

A vacant commercial unit will be converted into one new unit of housing at 348 Chestnut St. Which combines a total of 37 housing units.

The buildings contain a combined total of 37 housing units consisting of the following:

  • 6 one-bedroom apartments
  • 20 two-bedroom apartments
  • 11 three-bedroom apartments

10 of the units will be rented to households earning no more than 30% of the area median income (AMI) ($28,250 for a four-person household).

15 units rented to households earning no more than 50% of AMI ($47,050 for a four-person household).

12 units rented to households earning no more than 60% AMI ($56,460 for a four-person household).

“Massachusetts’ housing shortage makes it all the more necessary to ensure individuals and families can continue to access quality affordable housing and stay in their communities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “This tax-exempt bond will help modernize and extend the life span of dozens of affordable apartments in the Gateway City of Holyoke. We are proud to partner with banks like bankESB to offer flexible financial solutions for developers and nonprofits looking to do this kind of work.”

“We’re pleased to support this project to preserve and modernize much-needed affordable housing in Holyoke,” said bankESB President and CEO Matthew S. Sosik. “bankESB is proud to provide the financing and is thankful for MassDevelopment and the group of funders for making this project a reality, helping to further unlock the potential of the Holyoke community for years to come.”

“Voces de Esperanza is the fulfillment of the vision and hard work of the late Carlos Vega,” said Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia. “His vision inspired the development of the Churchill neighborhood where this project is located. Roughly three decades ago, with Nueva Esperanza, Inc. as the developer, Carlos Vega leveraged the necessary resources and partnerships to rehab, preserve, and build affordable housing totaling 36 units, a project known as Voces de Esperanza. This announcement from MassDevelopment coupled with the Valley Opportunity Council’s (VOC) plan for Voces de Esperanza is an affirmation of the commitment to Carlos Vega’s mission to keep these properties affordable. Thank you to MassDevelopment for your support for this vital project which is such an important part of the fabric of our city’s history.” 

“VOC is enthusiastic to partner with MassDevelopment so we can continue to develop and improve housing in Holyoke for those that are struggling to make ends meet during these challenging times,” said Valley Opportunity Council Executive Director Stephen Huntley.