Announced each year from the nation’s capital, the awards honor Housing Credit developments that are strengthening communities, improving residents’ opportunity and boosting economies in urban, suburban and rural areas across the country. The awards come at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact have intensified the need for affordable housing, compounding the challenge facing at-risk families and individuals already struggling to pay rent.
“Congratulations to Flat 9 at Whittier for receiving the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award – this is terrific news for Roxbury,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) “Safe, stable and affordable housing is a basic right for all Americans and the redevelopment of the Whittier site will support economic development and strengthen our neighborhoods.”
“Every person in Massachusetts deserves affordable housing. Our state faces a housing and eviction crisis that can only be solved by smart investments in the health and safety of our communities,” said U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) “I congratulate the Whittier Choice Neighborhoods team for the well-deserved recognition through this award. Their work to provide affordable housing and build a community in Roxbury is critical to ensuring that these neighborhoods are places where everyone can call home.”
“The Housing Credit continues to spur development of affordable homes that go above and beyond for the families they serve,” said AHTCC Executive Director Emily Cadik. “The Edson Award winners this year demonstrate how innovative and high-quality affordable housing can transform communities and help meet the need for education, child care, health care and other services vital to a community’s support system for at-risk families and individuals.”
Flat 9 at Whittier is the first of three phases to completely redevelop the Whittier Street Apartments site in Roxbury, which was originally built in the early 1950s to provide 200 public housing units. Developed by Preservation of Affordable Housing and Madison Park Development Corporation, Flat 9 at Whittier provides 92 mixed-income homes, with 66 homes affordable to households making at or below 60 percent of area median income. The property was made possible through the 9 percent and 4 percent Housing Credit, with syndication provided by the National Affordable Housing Trust, and equity provided by Citizens Bank. Once the full redevelopment is complete, the Whittier site will provide a total of 350 homes and commercial space. The revitalization will create a healthier environment and reconnect this vibrant development to the neighborhood, while drawing on the community’s strengths to preserve its character.
Since 1986, the Housing Credit has financed more than three million homes for low-income households, including veterans, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, essential workers, and families with children. Through public-private partnerships, the Housing Credit offers a proven track record of financing safe, decent affordable homes in communities where they are needed most.
“The Edson awardees highlight the creative and innovative solutions that exist to combat the nation’s lack of affordable housing,” said AHTCC President and WNC, Inc. Executive Vice President Michael Gaber. “As the impact of COVID-19 continues to create hardships for a growing number of families and working people across the country, now more than ever we need effective tools like the Housing Credit to provide stable, affordable homes.”
For more information about the 2020 Edson Awards, please visit taxcreditcoalition.org/edson-awards/.