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Neville Place, Affordable Assisted Living Facility, To Receive $5.7 Million City Loan

The Cambridge Housing Authority — the city agency in charge of public housing — is located at 362 Green Street.
The Cambridge Housing Authority — the city agency in charge of public housing — is located at 362 Green Street. By Julian J. Giordano
By Laurel M. Shugart, Crimson Staff Writer

Cambridge’s Affordable Housing Trust will loan $5.7 million to Neville Place Assisted Living at Fresh Pond — which provides assisted living services to low-income seniors — for physical repairs to the facility.

The Trust granted an initial request from Neville Place for a $2.5 million loan last May, but raised concerns that the facility was not taking enough steps to ensure affordability and attached a long list of stipulations to the loan.

Among the stipulations were requirements for a third-party capital needs assessment and a commitment to restricting 57 of the project’s 71 total units to low and middle-income households.

Though Neville Place issued a statement of commitment to improving conditions outlined by the loan, it neither executed its commitments nor used the funding as the parent organization — Neville Communities, Incorporated — worked to refinance their mortgage with Rockland Trust Bank.

In March, Neville Communities, Inc. requested a $3.2 million increase from the Trust, citing a need to provide evidence to the bank that the facility had the necessary funding for renovations. The firm also said the almost 25-year-old building had several structural issues that were in need of attention, hence the increased request.

Though some wondered why the organization is now receiving increased funding despite not utilizing the original loan, James G. Stockard Jr., a board member of both the Trust and Neville Communities, Inc. said the facility could only make use of the loan once they had refinanced their mortgage.

The increased loan comes with the same affordability stipulations as the original.

“As a society, we’re not great at taking care of our senior citizens. I view the assisted living facility as just sort of a next stage of housing,” said Stockard, a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. “Essentially, the trust came around to agreeing with that argument, and decided they could make a loan to the assisted living.”

Though Neville Communities, Inc. oversees both the assisted living facility and the Neville Center Nursing Home, only the former is eligible for funding from the Trust.

In the updated loan, the Trust said they increased the funding due in part to the current financial burden on the facility and the cost inflation and expanded scope of necessary repairs.

Neville Place has started repairing the roof and plans to update windows, flooring, kitchen equipment, and several other structural repairs. Additionally, the loan provides funding for the remodel of nine units over the next three years as many parts of the facility have not been updated since opening in 2000.

While the loan will not directly affect the cost of living for seniors residing in the facility, it is intended to maintain the building in order for Neville Place to continue providing lower-cost housing and services to residents.

“Overarching all of this is a sense by everybody involved — the hospital, Housing Authority, the city manager’s office — that Neville is a really important facility for Cambridge,” Stockard said. “We don’t want it to fail.”

—Staff writer Laurel M. Shugart can be reached at Follow them on X @laurelmshugart or on Threads @laurel.shugart.

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