Retirement Housing Foundation Aquires Affordable Housing Community for Families in Massachusetts

Hillcrest Acres, the newest RHF community.

Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF) has acquired its 198th community with the acquisition of Hillcrest Acres Apartments in Attleboro, Mass.  

“I am pleased to welcome Hillcrest Acres to the RHF family of 198 communities,” said the Rev. Laverne Joseph, president and CEO of RHF. “There is a large and growing need for affordable housing and we are doing our best to address that need.”

Completed in 1974, Hillcrest Acres is a garden-style, multi-family community conveniently located on just over 9 wooded acres in Attleboro, Mass. Consisting of 10 residential buildings spread throughout the property, Hillcrest Acres offers spacious flats as well as townhouse-style living. Also on site are picnic and barbecue areas, play areas, and a 3,000-square-foot community/office building. Nestled between Providence, R.I., and the City of Boston, there is no shortage of things to do.  

Hillcrest Acres is close to public transportation; the MBTA commuter rail station with trains running continuously to Providence and Boston is just one mile away. This community is also in close proximity to the major employment centers along routes I95, I295, and I495, and to downtown Attleboro, which boasts numerous shops and restaurants.

Hillcrest Acres Apartments is an expired Rent Supp and Section 236 property, with a mixed income, but mostly affordable, resident population.  With all affordability restrictions having expired, the project was at high risk of being lost to a market-rate buyer, potentially leading to community disruption and displacement of many lower income households. 

With a strong desire to preserve this asset as affordable housing for existing and future tenants, the development team negotiated the sale with the property owner for more than a year. The sale was then made possible by working with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), who provided an $8,400,000 acquisition loan. Now, over the next one-to-two years, immediate capital and property management needs will be addressed while the team assembles financing and works on funding applications. The goal is to have the property ready to undergo a major rehab utilizing the low-income housing tax credits and other sources of state and local money. 

“Preserving affordable housing is an important part of CEDAC’s mission.  Hillcrest Acres was far along the path of conversion from affordable housing to market rate, but thanks to this acquisition, all 100 apartments will have long-term affordability restrictions,” said Roger Herzog, CEDAC’s executive director. 

The Schochet Companies President Richard Henken said, “We are so appreciative of the efforts of CEDAC and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in helping us to acquire and preserve this key asset as affordable for the folks who currently reside there as well as those who will come after them.  With their help we were able to get the seller an acceptable price so as to not lose these apartments to the market.”

Since 2001, RHF and Schochet have successfully acquired, and preserved as affordable, nearly 2,300 New England apartments at a value of more than $300 million.

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