Lyman Terrace in Holyoke, MA has won a 2021 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the HUD Preservation category.
Lyman Terrace, developed by The Community Builders, Inc., is a federal public housing development located in downtown Holyoke, MA, which provides 164 homes to extremely and very low-income families. The 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) was used to finance development of property, with syndication provided by Boston Capital in Phase 1 and KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment in Phase 2.
Originally built in 1939, Lyman Terrace, two blocks from Holyoke City Hall, had become functionally obsolete and was in need of redevelopment in order to effectively support its residents and the economic redevelopment and community character of downtown Holyoke. In 2014, The Community Builders was selected by the Holyoke Housing Authority (HHA) board to concept, develop, and implement the residents’ vision of a new Lyman Terrace. Both phases of development were considered a high priority for the City of Holyoke, and the property was awarded competitive financing from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help the resident’s vision come to fruition.
The Community Builders and the HHA understood the importance of keeping the community informed and involved through each step of the redevelopment process. Accordingly, the organizations consistently engaged residents of Lyman Terrace, leaders from various local agencies and organizations, and a diverse group of community stakeholders in the process of creating redevelopment plans.
Residents of Lyman Terrace benefit from on-site programs such as after school education and summer enrichment, food pantry, and nutrition and cooking demonstrations workshops. Additional programming includes continuing educational programming such as ESOL classes, job training and engagement opportunities specific to older adults. An on-site, full-time resident services coordinator develops and coordinates support services, programming and other opportunities for residents, and works one-on-one with residents to assist them in achieving their goals. The second phase of Lyman Terrace also includes construction of a community building including a leasing office, and program spaces for partner organizations that provide programming for the Lyman Terrace community. Some of these organizations include the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Learn In Motion, and One Holyoke CDC. The property also partners with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the City of Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department.
The two-phase redevelopment of Lyman Terrace maximized the number of affordable homes that could be preserved, while expanding the livable square footage of each unit through a creative design solution involving new construction, modular additions attaching to the existing public housing buildings. Through use of the federally designated Opportunity Zone tool, TCB worked with KeyBank to support the Phase 2 project and fully complete the site with a new community building and new playgrounds for the residents and their families. The preservation of Lyman Terrace has bolstered the quality of life for residents while simultaneously reconnecting the site to the City of Holyoke and helping to transform the entire neighborhood.
Remarks from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
“This is terrific news for Holyoke and it is also well-deserved recognition for Lyman Terrace’s work to provide affordable housing while supporting economic development and strengthening our neighborhoods,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the massive inequities in our economy and in our society, but even before the pandemic, the cost of housing was already squeezing American families in communities all across this country.”
Hear more from Senator Warren in her congratulatory video:
Statement from U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
“We are facing an eviction and affordable housing crisis in our country where too many of our neighbors are without a roof over their heads. Every person is deserving of a safe, clean, healthy, and affordable home,” said Senator Markey. “Lyman Terrace is a shining example of what a partnership between the local community and federal government can achieve. We can and must solve the affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts, and Lyman Terrace is a critical part of that solution.”