February 15, 2017

Inbox [Feb. 15]: Main South CDC lands $4M to add 75 affordable housing units, YWCA seeks Erskine nominees, immigration law experts arrange forums, city uses Common to push downtown agenda

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Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Main South CDC lands $4M MassDevelopment bond to buy, renovate 13 properties

MassDevelopment has issued a $4 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Nuestras Casas Limited Partnership, an affiliate of the Worcester nonprofit Main South Community Development Corporation.

Main South CDC is using proceeds to buy and renovate 80 multi-family residential units and five ground floor commercial units on 13 Worcester properties for Nuestras Casas, a mixed-income housing development.

The development will offer 73 units that are affordable to households earning 60 percent of the area median income, two that are affordable to households earning 80 percent of the area median income, and five market-rate units.

Renovations will include upgrading heating systems, bathrooms, and kitchens; replacing windows and roofs; and making general cosmetic improvements. MassDevelopment also assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of approximately $2.5 million in equity from federal low income housing tax credits, and TD Bank purchased the bond.

974 Main Street

Courtesy of MassDevelopment

974 Main St., Worcester is one of 13 properties Main South CDC was able to purchase with the help of the MassDevelopment financing package.

“The Main South CDC’s work to renovate and preserve quality housing at Nuestras Casas is essential to Worcester’s continued economic growth,” MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones said. “We are pleased this low-cost financing will provide safe, welcoming homes to the working individuals and families in the Main South neighborhood.”

“The low-interest tax-exempt bond financing provided by MassDevelopment in conjunction with the low-income housing tax credits has enabled the Main South CDC to perform necessary capital improvements and cosmetic upgrades to these aging properties,” said Steve Teasdale, executive director at Main South CDC. “This financing has enhanced the operational revenue stream and ensured that these 80 units continue to serve as quality affordable housing units for years to come.”

Erskine Award nominations open

The YWCA Central Massachusetts is accepting nominations for the Katharine F. Erskine Award for Women.

The award honors those who show a commitment to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all – and meet the following criteria:

  • distinctive achievement and service in her current field;
  • service to community with a demonstrated commitment to social and racial equality;
  • demonstrated commitment to serving as a role model for women and girls;
  • must live and/or work in Central Massachusetts.

Award are presented for arts and culture; business and law; community, social service and government; education; and health, science and technology.

The deadline for nominations is March 1.

More information, the nomination form and list of previous Erskine Award winners can be found on the YWCA Central Mass. website

Area group schedule immigration consultation forums

Worcester attorneys and area nonprofits are collaborating on a series of four community consultation forums on immigration law.

Families that have recently immigrated to the United States and are concerned about the changes in immigration law can attend one of the forums and hear from immigration law attorneys and have the opportunity to ask them your questions.

The first will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Worcester Public Library. Other forums will be 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at Main South Community Development Corporation, 875 Main St.; 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Friendly House, 36 Wall St.; and 6-9 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at Ascentria, 11 Shattuck St.

The forums are a collaboration of Randy Feldman, immigration attorney; Community Legal Aid; Ascentria; Friendly House; Main South Community Development Center; The Worcester Public Library; Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center; Southeast Asian Coalition; African Community Education, Rosie Milano, immigration Attorney; Catholic Charities; Worcester Community Connections, a Part of YOU Inc.; and more.

City launches #Worcester100 effort to bring 100 events to the Common this year

The city of Worcester is looking to make the Worcester Common the hub of the transformation of the downtown area.

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. recently challenged his staff and the community to make 2017 the biggest year on the Common yet. So the city is launching #Worcester100, a campaign to bring 100 events to the area of the Common this year.

Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested into the Common – including the new Worcester Common Oval skating rink and fully restored war memorials – and surrounding streets and sidewalks. The Worcester Police Department has added foot beat officers to ensure downtown is a fun, welcoming atmosphere for all.

“We want to give anyone who hasn’t been downtown recently a reason to visit, and to see the transformation that’s taking place,” Augustus said. “For centuries, the Worcester Common has been a gathering place for our community, let’s continue that legacy and make downtown the vibrant hub our city deserves.”

Event organizers interested in hosting their event on the Common should call the City Manager’s Office at 508-799-1175 or email specialevents@worcesterma.gov. For a listing of upcoming events, visit WorcesterCommonOval.com.

Read the entire story on the city of Worcester website

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