BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Bank is partnering with Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) to provide $2 million of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) equity to help Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH) build a new community center in Mission Park, a diverse community of more than 2,000 residents. Construction of the 28,000 square foot development is underway and will be completed in early 2014.
“RTH has a strong record of serving the neighborhood throughout its over 40-year history,” said Laura Vowell, vice president for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community investment of U.S. Bank that made the investment. “We’re thrilled to help RTH construct a community center in Mission Park, as it will provide the space needed to dramatically increase the organization’s impact.”
RTH staff already operates a wide range of programs designed to meet the varied interests and needs of the residents of Mission Park and the surrounding area, but the programs are limited in size due to the lack of adequate facilities and are always oversubscribed. Currently, the largest indoor area in the neighborhood is a community room with a legal capacity of 111 people.
“In a community with over 500 children under the age of 18, most living in high-rise apartment buildings, there are only limited areas where children can play outside safely or in cold or rainy weather,” said Carol Menton, president of the RTH Board of Directors. “Kids, desperate for a place to play, improvise. They ride bikes in hallways. They ride skateboards down stairways. Parents, in need of feeling their kids are safe, struggle to find safe, appropriate activities. As a community with a strong desire to offer a better variety of programs to meet the varied interest and needs of the residents, we look forward to the day when we can open the doors to this much needed center.”
The new community center, which replaces an outdoor basketball court and parking lot, will contain space for recreational activities and community gatherings and house a gym, fitness facilities, a teaching kitchen, classrooms for educational, childcare, healthcare, and social services programs, and related office space.
According to Karen T. Gately, executive director of RTH, upon completion, RTH will be able to expand its youth development and after school programming and senior services. The gym will enable youth to exercise and participate in a wide variety of indoor sports and games. The Health and Wellness Center will allow RTH to offer a variety of programs to address many of the wellness needs of residents of all ages and abilities. The community space will provide enough space for large numbers of residents to meet for community celebrations and cultural events, movie nights, political events, and community dinners and meetings. When the Community Center opens, RTH will provide services and facilities that will markedly improve the quality of life for some of Boston’s citizens most in need.
“We applaud RTH’s commitment to the project and the strong outpouring of support from the residents of Mission Park,” said Joe Flatley, president of MHIC. “This project is at least a decade in the making, and we’re proud to partner with U.S. Bank to help finally bring it to life.”
Harnessing the benefits of the NMTC Program, MHIC and U.S. Bank have previously partnered to finance other significant community development projects in the region, including Generations Family Health Center, Boston Carpenters Training Center, and Lowell Community Health Center.
About Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
MHIC is a private, nonprofit lender and investor specializing in financing affordable housing and community development throughout New England. It was founded in 1990 by a consortium of banks and other corporate investors to fill a critical gap in meeting the credit needs of developers who could not get financing for certain projects from traditional lenders. To date, MHIC has provided more than $1.8 billion in financing. That financing represents the preservation or creation of nearly 16,683 housing units and more than 3.4 million square feet of commercial space. For more information, see www.mhic.com
About New Markets Tax Credit Financing
New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) were established by Congress in 2000 to encourage the investment of private capital in designated low-income communities in order to create jobs, generate economic activity and improve the quality of services in low-income communities and to low-income persons. NMTCs attract investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making qualified equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs). In turn, CDEs provide below-market financing to transformative development projects in low-income communities across the country. The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years. For more information, visit www.cdfifund.gov.
About Roxbury Tenants of Harvard
Since 1969, RTH has served as a multi-purpose, resident-controlled neighborhood, grassroots, non-profit corporation. RTH has long represented community residents and has held strong local support throughout its over 40-year history. RTH has created a safe and racially diverse neighborhood noted for its strong community participation, numerous services, and high quality of life. www.roxburytenants.org/
About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, has invested more than $10.9 billion of tax credit equity in community development projects across the country as of March 31, 2013, using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at www.usbank.com/cdc.
About U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $355 billion in assets as of March 31, 2013, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,080 banking offices in 25 states and 5,056 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.