Rhode Island awarded nearly $2.2 million to create 16 affordable rental units in Providence
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Rhode Island awarded nearly $2.2 million to create 16 affordable rental units in Providence

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BOSTON — The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (the Bank) awarded nearly $2.2 million as a grant, loan, and rate subsidy to fund 16 units of affordable rental housing in Providence. Of that amount, nearly $800,000 is in the form of a grant and subsidy. In all, 28 initiatives received more than $17.5 million in grants, loans, and rate subsidies as part of the Bank’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to create or preserve 445 rental and ownership units for very low-, low-, and moderate-income individuals and families. 

Each year, the Bank commits 10 percent of its net profits to provide grants and subsidized, below market-rate loans through the AHP. “The credit crisis has made the need for affordable housing even greater,” said Michael A. Jessee, the Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “Now more than ever, working families, seniors, and special needs populations need decent housing, and I’m proud that our contribution will help make that a reality for more than 400 individuals and families.”

“This is great news for the continuing renaissance of downtown Providence, and I am pleased that the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston continues to provide funding to preserve and build affordable housing in Rhode Island,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the Banking Committee, which oversees federal housing policy. “This is a smart investment in our community that will enhance the neighborhood and provide quality, affordable, and environmentally-friendly housing for local artists and their families.”

AHP funds are used to create or preserve affordable housing and help pay construction, acquisition, or rehabilitation costs. Member financial institutions work with local developers to apply for AHP funding, awarded twice a year through a competitive scoring process. The application deadline for the second round of this year’s AHP awards is September 12, 2008.

The mission of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston is to support the residential-mortgage and community-development lending activities of its members, which include over 450 financial institutions across New England. To accomplish its mission, the Bank utilizes private-sector capital to provide members and other qualified customers with reliable access to low-cost wholesale funds, liquidity, a competitive outlet for the sale of loans, special lending programs, technical assistance, and other products and services.

Information on the awards follows, and is also available at www.fhlbboston.com/ahp. For more information, see our backgrounder.

The Awards

Location: Providence                                     
Member: Bank Rhode Island
Sponsor: AS220
Number and Type of Units: 16 rental
Amount and Type of Subsidy: $798,222 grant and subsidy, $1.37 million advance

AS220 at The Mercantile Block. Acquisition and historic restoration of the turn-of-the-century Mercantile Block. All units will be targeted to artists earning at or below 50 percent of area median income, and three units will be set aside for young adults aging out of state-supported care. The design will incorporate many green building elements, and the property will include two floors of commercial space, providing artists with space to showcase their work. The sponsor will provide micro-business lending, job-training, and job-matching services. Bank Rhode Island will provide permanent financing through the AHP-subsidized advance. The project has also received state and historic tax credits.

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