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Fri., Jan. 27, 2006
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The Patriot Ledger
400 Crown Colony Drive
P.O. Box 699159
Quincy, MA 02269-9159
(617) 786-7000
CONTACT US
Affordable space: Loans from
Citizens help agency provide
low-income housing
By JULIE JETTE
The Patriot Ledger
QUINCY - The
hallways are painted
a fresh sage green,
well lit by simple wall
sconces. The kitchen
measures about 12
feet by 12 feet, but it
comes with a shiny
Thomas Nee, Caritas Communities
new stove and
director of property managment,
refrigerator.
stands in front of one of two rooming
houses Caritas bought and renovated
A tidy bedroom - with on Spear Street in Quincy. The
affordable housing units were funded
the bed neatly made
through low-interest loans from
and laundry,
Citizens Bank. (GREG DERR/The
toothpaste and other Patriot Ledger)
bathroom sundries
neatly arranged on a shelf - is only about the size of the kitchen.
But the room’s resident, Jim Andersen, 36, has no complaints
about space.
‘‘I was looking around and they wanted $900, $1,000, first and
last month (rent),’’ Andersen said of apartments he considered
renting. ‘‘If I could even get into that place, I’d be worrying about
what I was going to eat, about transport and all that.’’
Instead, Andersen is renting a room for about $550 a month from
Caritas Communities, the Braintree-based nonprofit
development corporation that purchased and renovated two
rooming houses on Spear Street.
The Spear Street houses - offering a total of 22 rooms as well as
common kitchens and bathrooms - represent the first completed
project financed by Citizens Bank under the Providence-based
bank’s program to lend up to $200 million in below-market-rate
loans -to develop affordable housing in New England. Project
developers celebrated with a ribbon-cutting last week, and six
residents have moved in so far.
More than 125 people have called Caritas to inquire about the
rooms.
The bank has closed loans on nine projects that collectively
involve renovating or creating 145 units of affordable housing.
More than 700 additional units of housing in Massachusetts
could be rehabbed or created by 21 loans still being considered
by the bank, according to Julie Connelly, senior vice president
of community relations for Citizens, which is a subsidiary of the
Royal Bank of Scotland.
Affordable housing remains a problem in New England, even as
the real estate market has cooled a bit in recent months.
2005 YEAR IN
REVIEW
WORLD NEWS
Russian official
orders hazing probe
Documents show
Army seized wives
as tactic
IRAQ
The South Asia
Tsunami - One Year
Later
NATIONAL
NEWS
SUPREME COURT:
Alito Nomination
• Transcript:
1/10
• Transcript:
1/11
Texas judges
allowed to resume
campaigns
Vietnam deserter
won't face trial
Lawyer dons
dominatrix mask in
Mass. trial
NTSB: Ban landing
method in Midway
crash
NTSB: Ban landing
method in Midway
crash
SPORTS
2006 WORLD CUP
PRO BASKETBALL
HOCKEY
NASCAR 2005
COLLEGE
FOOTBALL
Federer to play
Baghdatis in
Aussie final
More charges filed
against Skins'
Taylor
Chiefs QB takes
Brady's spot in Pro
Bowl
ENTERTAINMENT
Mark Winkeller, executive director of Caritas Communities,
says single adults earning between $11,000 and $28,000 a year
will pay between $390 and $590 a month for the Quincy units.
There are some rules for the apartments - no overnight guests,
no drunkenness, and residents have to continuously meet
income requirements. Caritas, which is not related to the
hospital network with a similar name, has 528 units within Route
128.
The average length of stay in a Caritas unit is three years, and
about three-quarters of residents are men. The typical resident in
one of Caritas’ properties is middle-aged and works in the
service sector, typically as a security guard, cab driver or
food-service worker.
‘‘These are difficult jobs, they’re not glamorous in the slightest,
and they’re jobs that are generally underpaid and
under-appreciated,’’ Winkeller said.
Julie Jette may be reached at [email protected]
Copyright 2005 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Thursday, November 24, 2005
THE GRAMMYS
Movies lend Oscars
a social agenda
World honors
Mozart on 250th
birthday
Douglas: Don't
underestimate star
power
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P.O. Box 699159, Quincy, MA 02269-9159
Telephone: (617) 786-7000