Founded in 1976, Abby’s House has been in operation for 41 years. Its flagship residential facility at 52 High Street provides permanent and supportive housing to women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In partnership with the Women’s Institute, Abby’s House underwent a substantial renovation and expansion of its residential and service facilities. The renovation served to rehabilitate the historic property, originally known as the Saint Joseph’s Home for Working Girls. Using a blend of public and private financing, the 40,000 sf Georgian Revival building gained significant structural improvements while preserving the 55 units of housing, improving accessibility throughout its residential and program spaces, and allowing deep affordability for low-income residents. This project was completed in 2019!
National Fannie Mae Maxwell Award for Excellence Winner
Completed in 2005, Acushnet Commons is the conversion and adaptive re-use of the former Kinyon-Campbell School into 12 family-sized affordable apartments, program space for a local non-profit service provider, and a community center. A long-vacant building in a struggling neighborhood of New Bedford, Acushnet Commons has helped launch revitalization efforts in this community in addition to providing quality affordable housing for low-income families. A great example of a mixed-use project, we were able to create office space for NorthStar Learning Centers, a leading service provider, as well as a community room. NorthStar Leaning Centers’ on-site office space allows them to provide a wide range of programs and services to residents as well as others within the community.
For more information on Acushnet Commons click here.
The Women’s Institute assisted Lazarus House Ministries in the development of Capernaum Place to offer residents of Lawrence, MA a place to call home. By responding to the critical need for housing and supportive services in the area, we created independent housing for 20 families, which opened in 2007. By creating program space for education, job training, children’s programs, counseling, and administrative offices, residents are provided with an array of supportive services and programs. The property incorporates green, sustainable design features and meets Energy Star standards.
For more information on Capernaum Place click here.
Casa Esperanza, Inc. is recognized as a leader in substance abuse treatment and supportive services for individuals and families in recovery. Committed to long-term solutions for people in recovery, Casa Esperanza has added three supportive housing properties and a graduation center to their Roxbury campus with the assistance of the Women’s Institute. Our first collaboration in 2003, Dunmore Place, provides housing for six families in recovery. Providing supportive housing is vital to ensure those with substance abuse issues can receive the help they need. Through the development of Familias Unidas in 2007, nine apartments were created for program graduates as well as a graduation center which houses ongoing services and support. In 2011, the Nueva Esperanza project created 14 apartments for individuals in recovery as well as program space for counseling and case management services.
For more information on Casa Esperanza click here.
Our long standing collaboration with CHOICE Village celebrated the opening in the spring of 2011 of CHOICE Center at North Village which offers 32 one-bedroom apartments and five two-bedroom units for low-income seniors. The two-bedroom units recognize the changing definition of senior housing, which can include elderly parents caring for a disabled child, two elderly siblings living together to support each other, or an elderly couple assisted by an in-home care provider. Seniors living here have access to program space, which allows for on-site case management, meeting space as well as the support of the Chelmsford Senior Center. We also incorporated green features such as a solar panel system, reflective roofing to reduce heating and cooling costs, and other EnergyStar features.
For more information on CHOICE Center click here.
We are currently working with CHOICE, Inc. and the Chelmsford Housing Authority to create 13 units of supportive housing for veterans and their families in Chelmsford and Westford. The Westford site is the conversion of a function hall into five apartments for families. The Chelmsford site will be new construction of eight efficiency units. Supportive services will be provided for the veterans by the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center in Haverhill, MA and the Chelmsford Housing Authority. The project has received significant local funds from the respective towns, a Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston award for the Chelmsford site, a loan commitment from Enterprise Bank, as well as foundation grants. Construction began in late 2013 and is scheduled to be completed in September of 2014.
Completed in 2000, Crescent Field Townhomes was a unique opportunity to partner with the Newton Housing Authority in converting surplus land originally owned by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority into a vibrant mixed-income neighborhood. Twenty units of energy-efficient townhouses were constructed, including eight market-rate homeownership units, eight first-time homebuyer units, and four units purchased by the Newton Housing Authority for survivors of domestic violence. As the developer, the Women’s Institute was responsible for all phases of project development.
For more information on Crescent Field Townhomes click here.
The Women’s Institute originally worked with Elizabeth Stone House in 1987 to develop its existing building housing its programs. Elizabeth Stone House re-engaged us to assist with the site selection and development of a new facility in Egleston Square that will house their offices, community programs, childcare facility and a mix of 27 transitional and permanent affordable apartments for homeless and at-risk families and individuals.
The Women’s Institute was selected in the fall of 2012 through a competitive Request for Proposal process to expand the Essex Housing Authority’s existing 36 unit elderly housing complex. The development concept, known as Essex Place, includes the new construction of approximately 22 units of elderly affordable housing on a site adjacent to the Housing Authority’s existing site. The team has secured a $500,000 grant and a $1,000,000 subsidized loan from Essex Savings Bank through the Federal Home Loan Bank Boston Affordable Housing Program and anticipates additional funding from the State of Connecticut Department of Housing. Quisenberry Arcari Architects is the project’s architect. The project was completed in 2016.
The Women’s Institute and HOPE Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing affordable workforce housing opportunities in the shoreline communities and Middlesex County, partnered with the Town of Old Saybrook to create Ferry Crossing, a new development of 16 townhouse-style rental apartments located in the Ferry Point neighborhood. The development addresses the needs of struggling families, young adults and seniors who wish to live in town. Four apartments prioritize housing for chronically homeless or at-risk individuals, including two units for veterans. Ferry Crossing is the first project in Connecticut to be developed in an Incentive Housing Zone (IHZ) through the HOMEConnecticut legislation, advanced by the Partnership for Strong Communities.
For more information about Ferry Crossing, please click here.
National Fannie Mae Maxwell Award for Excellence Winner
In 1998, GrandFamilies House was co‐developed by Boston Aging Concerns ‐Young and Old United (BAC‐YOU) and the Women’s Institute. The national award‐winning project is the first housing community of its kind in the country, recognized for its innovative approach to housing and supporting intergenerational grandfamilies. The fully accessible House offers 26 apartments for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, and a unit for the resident manager. It is owned and operated by BAC‐YOU, which has since merged with Nuestra Comunidad Community Development Corporation.
Grinnell Mansion offers senior housing in a renovated historic mansion from the early 1800s. Here, low-income seniors and persons with disabilities live in 17 affordable one-bedroom apartments where they also have access to congregate dining and living space. The building was the former home of a whaling merchant who later served as a four-term congressman. Committed to preserving affordable housing in our communities, the Women’s Institute acquired the property in 2011, and continues to work closely with the original sponsors in providing services and support to our residents.
For more information on Grinnell Mansion click here.
The Berkshire Housing Development Corporation engaged the Women’s Institute for the development of supportive housing for seniors on land donated by Williams College in Williamstown, MA. The 40 unit development is managed by Berkshire Housing and on-site supportive services are provided by the Williamstown Council on Aging. The housing was created with great support from the Williamstown community in response to the loss of a large number of homes that were destroyed by flooding during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
For more information on Highland Woods click here.
In partnership with New Milford Affordable Housing, we developed Indian Field Apartments in 2009, which is comprised of 40 units of affordable housing for individuals and families. The property, which is located near many town amenities, replicates a “town green” design with five townhouse-style structures surrounding an open green space and a community building. The community building offers a place for residents to hold gatherings as well as a space for youth and adult services and on-site property management. Knowing the importance of providing children a safe space in which to play, included in this community is an enclosed playground incorporated into the common green space.
For more information on Indian Field Apartments click here.
Ingraham Place is comprised of 19 affordable apartments offering supportive housing for homeless families, as well as program/commercial space and a community center. In association with Southeast Regional Network (SRN), eleven homeless families participating in their Family Preservation Program have beautiful new apartments and receive specialized case management services. A community room and kitchen are available to local organizations to conduct programs and activities on-site for residents, as well as the larger community. Our partner, NorthStar Learning Centers, operates an after-school program for 52 children in their indoor and outdoor space, and has also launched a new family visitation center. An array of services and educational programs are also offered by Neighborhood Housing Services.
For more information on Ingraham Place click here.
Through the formation of strategic partnerships led by CHOICE, Inc. and the Chelmsford Housing Authority, we assisted with the creation of five new units of the Lynn Marcella Residences to fill the need for permanent family housing in Chelmsford. The property incorporates a variety of green initiatives, including heating and water systems with greater than 90% efficiency and landscaping that includes drought-tolerant native plant species.
For more information on Lynn Marcella Residences click here.
Mary Townsend Seymour Apartments is the development of a former brownfields site into 34 new units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and low-income families, as well as young adults aging out of foster care. Twenty two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units for families were created, along with six one-bedroom units for single adults. The project also offers a community center and after-school program adjacent to the existing transitional housing program.
Murray on Main will provide 20 homes and over 3,000 sq. ft. of commercial space in a converted and rehabilitated historic retail building in downtown Willimantic. The four-story, mixed-use brick building will expand housing opportunities by transforming a blighted building that leverages existing infrastructure and nearby public transit.
In 2013, the Women’s Institute began consulting to the New England Center and Home for Veterans (formerly the New England Center for Homeless Veterans) and its team on a feasibility analysis to incorporate permanent, supportive housing into the existing 135,000 square foot facility in downtown Boston. Over the past two years, Women’s Institute worked with the Center to secure the construction financing and the VASH operating subsidies. In early 2015, the Center closed on $32 million of financing – including Federal LIHTC and Historic tax credits, State Historic tax credits, and state and local deferred payment loans. The renovations will create 38 new permanent housing units, upgrade the existing 60 SRO units, and enhance the Center’s program spaces thereby increasing the Center’s ability to provide supportive services to the Veterans throughout New England.
The Dartmouth Housing Authority converted a former state police barrack into nine efficiency apartments for veterans. The Women’s Institute assisted the Housing Authority with its zoning process and securing development funds.
In 2013 the Women’s Institute acquired Prospect Estates which is comprised of two historic school buildings that were converted into a 25-unit affordable housing development in Webster, MA. They are situated in a residential neighborhood of single and small multifamily buildings and within walking distance of a number of amenities such as churches, grocery stores, bus stops, eateries and the public library.
For more information about Prospect Estates, please click here.
In early 2016, the Women’s Institute was awarded the right to develop up to 120 units of senior supportive housing over two phases in Devens, MA by MassDevelopment. This first phase of development, Shirley Meadows, will include 58 units of supportive and affordable housing. The housing will be designed to address the immediate needs of seniors with incomes ranging from moderate (60% Area Median Income) to extremely low (30% AMI). Eight (8) of these units will be set-aside for homeless or at-risk seniors, providing a safe, permanent and service-enriched environment for this most vulnerable population. Each of the 58 apartments will have a full bathroom and kitchen with rooms and hallways designed to support the needs of those with disabilities and will be easily converted to full ADA/MAAB accessibility standards if and when that is needed for the tenants. Particular attention will be paid to accessibility and flexible spaces that allow residents with mobility impairments to remain independent and self-sufficient within their homes.
The site is fully permitted for age restricted housing and comprises approximately 3.5 acres abutting the Town of Shirley’s municipal complex (town offices, library, and police department). The site also borders the permanently-protected Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge owned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and is a short walk to the commuter rail station. The generally level site has been cleared and remediated and offers an excellent opportunity to create a service-enriched community for seniors that supports a continuum of physical, economic, social and healthcare needs. All zoning has been approved for this project and the appeals period has expired. Construction drawings are almost fully advanced, this project is poised to begin construction as soon as all funding is received. A recent market study supports the demand for this project, and there has already been strong interest in the project from the Shirley Council on Aging and the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce. The residents will be supported through a comprehensive service plan, offered by our service provider, CHOICE, Inc., a very experience service provider. The robust service plan includes partnership with local service providers, hospitals, healthcare and senior centers and will support residents as they age-in- place at Shirley Meadows.
First Winner of the National Enterprise Innovation Venture Award, highlighting “the tremendous impact possible when diverse organizations leverage their strengths to create projects that no one organization could create on its own”
The Women’s Institute coordinated a first-in-the-nation project sponsored by the YWCA of the Hartford Region that provides a full continuum of housing, including an emergency shelter, transitional efficiency units and permanent one-bedroom apartments, designed for formerly homeless and low-income individuals. The YWCA of the Hartford Region initially retained the Women’s Institute to do a strategic assessment of its existing housing program. The Women’s Institute assembled over $9 million in public and private resources to create housing for up to 71 individuals. In addition, the Women’s Institute brokered a partnership between the YWCA and Chrysalis Center, a well-respected provider of case management services to very low-income people in the Hartford region. As a result, residents of the redeveloped Soromundi Commons will have access to significantly enhanced services, including employment and training.
For more information on Soromundi Commons click here.
The Women’s Institute was contracted to develop refinancing and preservation strategies for nine projects throughout Connecticut that have reached the end of their compliance period under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.We are working with each sponsor to assess and plan for individual project needs, continued affordability, and ongoing financial viability. The projects in the program include: Liberty Commons, Middletown; Hudson View Commons and Mary Seymour Apartments, Hartford; Crescent Apartments and Fairfield Apartments, Bridgeport; Colony Apartments and Atlantic Park, Stamford; Brick Row, Willimantic; and Cedar Hill Apartments, New Haven.
To learn more about the CT Statewide Demonstration Program, click here.
The Women’s Institute has proposed the new construction of 30 affordable homes for individuals and families earning 60% AMI and below to meet the high demand for affordable housing on Cape Cod. By clustering town house style buildings around a community greenspace, Terrapin Ridge will match the local architecture while integrating energy efficiencies throughout the physical design.
Early site work has started!
National Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Award Winner
In partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, The Eleanor apartments weaves supportive programs and activities within the housing model to provide a spectrum of resident services which include a congregate living program for 35 seniors, on-site case management and supportive programs for residents. Opened in 2010, the 62 affordable apartments for elderly residents were created through the transformation of the former Park City Hospital. Understanding the importance of green space, we were able to transform the emergency department section into a park-like plaza for all residents to enjoy. The apartments share property with The Franklin, a 48-unit permanent, supportive housing complex that prioritizes housing for homeless individuals including veterans.
For more information on The Eleanor click here.
National Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Award Winner
The Franklin offers 48 affordable apartments with supportive services provided by Alpha Community Services, including apartments with a priority for homeless veterans. The Women’s Institute partnered with the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, which is committed to increasing the availability of decent, safe, and affordable housing in Bridgeport, CT. Completed in 2010, the property is the redevelopment of the former Park City Hospital, in tandem with development of The Eleanor.
For more information on The Franklin click here.
The Mill at Killingly Apartments now stand on the site of the former Powdrell & Alexander Mill (c. 1860).
The 35,000 sq. ft. three-story elevator building offers 32 units of affordable housing; some with supportive services with market rate units as well. There are 28 one-bedroom units and 4 two- bedroom units with stainless steel refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers. Primary utilities are included with the rent (Electricity, heat, hot water & AC) and feature a video intercom in each unit, on-site laundry facilities, rental office and a community room, which also serves as an emergency shelter for local residents with backup generator power and showers in the bathroom.
Lease up began mid- February with DeMarco Management serving as the management agent for the development. United Services provides services to those individuals/families who were formerly or at risk of being homeless as well has helping residents transition into permanent housing. The property provides office space for United Services to meet with residents of The Mill and provides support and some training in job searches and other critical needs.
If you are interested in the space, please call DeMarco Management at 860-564-8230 for more information.
The new building sends a nod to the demolished former mill through its reminiscent design and incorporation of the iconic stair tower. The space includes a community room w/ kitchen to serve the needs of the tenant, on-site service coordinator, property management office. The community space also serves as an emergency shelter for local residents with backup power and showers in the bath- room. In line with the national supportive housing model the development combines permanent, affordable housing with on-site supportive services designed to meet the complex and unique needs of people who are formerly homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The development broke ground in late 2016 opening its doors to resident three years later, early 2019. With a total development cost of $16 million, The Mill at Killingly Apartments was made possible with the financial support of several public and private agencies and organizations to whom we express our sincerest gratitude.
For more information about the Mill at Killingly, please click here.
National Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Honorable Mention in Development that Best Exemplifies Major Community Impact
Victory Gardens is a 74-unit mixed-income supportive and affordable rental housing development on the campus of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Newington, Connecticut. Envisioned for and designed specifically with Veterans in mind, preference is given to eligible Veterans and their families, including homeless Veterans and those at-risk of becoming homeless. A comprehensive supportive services plan has been incorporated to support our Veterans’ needs beyond affordable housing, and includes a variety of programs and services provided by the Chrysalis Center and VA-CT.
Through its Enhanced-Use Lease Program (EUL), the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) leased 11.232-acres of land and improvements on its VA Newington, Connecticut campus.Completed in November of 2013, Victory Gardens is one of the nation’s first housing developments established under the EUL program, which allows VA to rent or lease VA property for non-VA use in return for either rent or “in-kind” consideration for activities that enhance VA’s mission. Eliminating homelessness among the Veteran population is a high priority for VA. The co-location of the EUL project on the VA Newington campus ensures that Veterans have ready access to care and treatment designed to help them attain long-term independence and self-sufficiency. The Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development designed and developed the project with Demarco Management providing the on site property management and Chrysalis Center providing comprehensive on-site services for the tenants.
Victory Gardens consists of 40 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units, and 12 three-bedroom units spread throughout seven town home buildings and one multi unit apartment building. All apartments are geared to households earning at or below 60% of area median income (AMI), and provides for much deeper affordability than other multi-family developments in the area, including homes that are targeted for families below 50% AMI and 25% AMI.
The Victory Gardens development has been created to respond to the dual issues faced by Veterans in our community: (1) the lack of affordable housing in our region, and (2) the need for supportive services to enhance options for long-term economic stability. A sizeable core of our Veteran population in Connecticut falls within income levels that severely limit their housing choices. Victory Gardens is well-positioned to serve as a comprehensive solution for the myriad of housing and other issues our Veterans often face when returning home from service.
Victory Gardens was designed with energy efficiency in mind and is in the process of becoming LEED Silver certified and includes features such as rain gardens, efficient HVAC systems, and thermostats.
Check out information from the Grand Opening here.
The Women’s Institute served as a consultant for the Women and Families Center (WFC) on WYSH House project. Women and Families Center (WFC) is a multi-faceted human service agency that has served CT communities since 1889. WFC has worked successfully with low-income and at-risk youth for over 20 years, providing street outreach and support services to homeless, runaway youth. Women and Families Center plans to develop 183 Colony Street into low-barrier, non-time limited youth supportive housing. The project, WYSH House (WFC Youth Supportive Housing), will provide affordable housing to Homeless Youth who are 18-24 years old at the time of program entry and rental limits will be restricted to 25%AMI for all youth units. WYSH House will include the demolition of one building and the new construction of a three-story building comprising of 12 efficiency apartments, complete with kitchen and bathroom. All units will be adaptable for accessibility. There will be significant common space, including a common kitchen and computer lab. The first floor will be comprised of office space for on-site case management. The site is located in a transit oriented and walkable neighborhood that provides a range of amenities. Residents will have access to a variety of services provided in partnership with several service providers including Klingberg Family Centers, Hartford Healthcare/Rushford Center, Community Health Center of Meriden (CHC), Meriden, Wallingford Chrysalis, and Liberty Bank. WFC has enlisted several experts in the affordable housing field to help bring the project from feasibility to fruition including Quisenberry Arcari Architects, LLC, an architectural firm experienced in the design of affordable housing, the City of Meriden’s Zoning and Planning departments, and Women’s Institute of Housing and Economic Development in the bidding and selection process for an experienced and well-established contractor. The project anticipates starting construction in November 2019 and being completed by October 2020 – within two years of this commitment date.
The Women’s Institute has been very privileged to work with the Cambridge YWCA in the complete rehabilitation and re-positioning of their Central Square property. This historic property in Cambridge offers critical housing for 103 homeless women, as well as offices for the YWCA’s operations and commercial space for local businesses. The Women’s Institute provided consulting services for this $14M redevelopment project financed under historic tax credits, State and City funding programs, and sponsor equity, including owners’ representation and support, financial packaging, construction management, relocation and lease-up services, and a variety of other roles. We are thrilled to have partnered with the YWCA in this significant undertaking, and wish them many years of success in providing key housing and services to at-risk women in the Cambridge community.
For more information about YWCA Cambridge, please click here.