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City: Flooding will get much worse in Alewife if Cambridge doesn’t plan for climate change

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The issue of climate change and its effects on the Alewife neighborhood are not new concerns, but city officials stressed at Monday’s City Council meeting that if funds and planning aren’t put into place, flooding could get much more serious in the area.

John Bolduc, the city’s environmental planner, presented a draft of Cambridge’s Alewife Preparedness Plan, outlining the city’s short, medium and long-term plans to address the impacts of climate change in Alewife in the coming years. The plan is the result of a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment the city previously conducted, which sought to identify Cambridge’s key physical and social vulnerabilities, according to the city’s website.

According to the plan, the number of days in which the temperature is 90 degrees or higher could triple by 2030, and the intensity of storms will increase dramatically in the coming decades causing parts of Alewife to be more susceptible to flooding.

“Cambridge already experiences precipitation-driven flooding in places along Alewife Brook, and in the Port neighborhood,” Bolduc said. “So if no action is taken, this kind of flooding will become more extensive, deep and more frequent.”

He also noted that if nothing is done, the Amelia Earhart Dam, located behind Cambridge in the Mystic River, could be compromised around 2045 and Charles River Dam would also be at risk.

“The dams act as barriers to storm surges,” Bolduc said. “They stop water from coming up the rivers from the harbor, but as the oceans rise, the dams will eventually be compromised.”

The plan outlines strategies to mitigate the impact including creating a neighborhood resilience hub at the Russell Apartments on Massachusetts Avenue, a cooling center at the DCR McCrehan Memorial Swimming Pool on Rindge Avenue, an enhanced resiliency social network at the Peabody School also on Rindge Avenue and improved stormwater management.

‘Trying to plan for a moving target’

The plan suggests people protect their homes by using flood-resistant materials, building exterior flood walls, installing backwater valves, and elevating and relocating utilities.

“The basic challenge that we have for planning is that the Cambridge we have today is built for conditions of the past,” Bolduc said.

Another challenge, Bolduc said, is that it can be tough to plan for future weather conditions.

“The science is very firm that climate change is occurring and will continue for a long time,” Bolduc said. “However, there is a lot of uncertainty about how much change we will experience and the timing of those changes.”

“So that makes planning complicated,” Bolduc said. “We’re basically trying to plan for a moving target.”

Of course, building infrastructure to mitigate the impact of climate change will cost money, which Councilor Craig Kelley said the city will have to plan for.

“At some point, I hate to say it, Louie, but I think it’s going to be a really big budget item just to do the procedural planning, much less any of the actual stuff on the ground,” Kelley said to City Manager Louis DePasquale.

Cambridge ‘ahead of most cities’

Despite the uncertain future, DePasquale said he is proud of how seriously the city has already taken climate change, and that he believes Cambridge is better prepared than most local communities.

“We are ahead of most cities and towns,” DePasquale said. “I think it’s safe to say we take this climate change [threat] very seriously.”

He added that Cambridge has an advantage over other communities because the city has “the funds to move ahead of this.”

He also stressed that the preparedness plan was laying out the worst-case scenarios the city may face.

“This is what happens if you take no actions,” DePasquale said. “A city like us, fortunately, with the team we have around John [Bolduc], we can take actions and we are taking actions.”

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Additional Information About 155 Harvey St, Cambridge, MA 02140

155 Harvey St, Cambridge, MA 02140
155 Harvey St, Cambridge, MA 02140

155 Harvey St, Cambridge, MA 02140 is a single family home for sale located in the North Cambridge neighborhood. Browse realtor.com® for nearby schools and neighborhood information. Find homes similar to 155 Harvey St within your price range.

Get the basic details about the property at 155 Harvey St. Located in Cambridge, MA, this home is listed currently at $$949,000. It has 1,212 square feet, including 3 beds and 3 baths.

Use realtor.com® to find great properties, and then save your searches by registering with the site and signing in. Set e-mail notifications to find out right away if a new property that meets your search criteria has been added or if there is a change to one of your listings. When you’ve narrowed down your search options, you can find a local REALTOR® to help you the rest of the way.

Start and end your property search with realtor.com®. First, use the search tools to find homes for sale like the one at 155 Harvey St. Read all the detailed and information provided, along with the maps, graphs and neighborhood statistics, to narrow down your search. Then let a qualified local REALTOR® take you the rest of the way.

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How much is your apartment building worth? Lucro uses AI to find out

image via lucro

In real estate, every deal is a creature of its own.

The value of two seemingly similar buildings can fluctuate based on occupancy, maintenance upkeep and financial history, as well as the cost of funding the deal. To protect themselves against making less-than-savvy investments, real estate companies hire consultants to crunch the numbers for each deal by hand.

Lucro, a Chicago real estate technology company founded by one of those consultants, wants them to rely on artificial intelligence instead.

“I helped my clients deploy over $2 billion in debt and equity across 10 different countries, all working in Excel,” said founder and CEO Brian Axline. “The technologist in me felt like that was a crazy system. I spent half my time fixing errors caused by others while collaborating. The other half, I spent defending the models we had built. It slowed down every single deal.”

After researching more efficient tools to use for his job and realizing there were none, Axline, who has a background in mathematics and finance, decided to teach himself to code and build a prototype on his own.

Lucro uses machine learning to process and analyze a building’s financials and operating history, in turn using that information to generate financial models. Its algorithms also double check financials for inconsistencies, miscategorizations and anything else out of the ordinary — for instance, if an accounting error or major one-time expense might have skewed the numbers.

From there, users can share models with potential partners, who can make tweaks based on factors like financing, deal structure and improvements that can make a building more attractive to renters.

This analysis, said Axline, is usually done by hand, line by line, placing a limit on the number of deals a company can consider in any given time period.

The upshot is that Lucro lets real estate developers close deals faster without skimping on due diligence. As the platform is exposed to more data about past and prospective deals, it can also become more sophisticated in its predictions.

One of Lucro’s biggest differentiators, said Axline, is its ability to adjust financial models based on nuances in deal structures. Doing so without overwhelming less sophisticated users, he said, has been one of his team’s biggest challenges.

“There’s a wide variety of financial sophistication in the real estate world,” said Axline. “Some people just want to do back-of-the envelope calculations, and you have to get the complexity out of their way. But some users have Wall Street experience and want every single option available.”

Founded in 2015, Lucro currently has a team of eight full-time employees, primarily engineers. The startup is headquartered in Chicago, where its engineering team sits, with a small data team in Cambridge, MA.

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For Sale In Cambridge: MA Real Estate Guide

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Are you looking for a new home? If you are, or you just want to see what properties are on the market in and around your city or town, Patch has a slew of listings provided by our partners at realtor.com.

Subscribe to Cambridge Patch for local news and real-time alerts.

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Around Cambridge

“The Willoughby Chronicles” book reading and signing: March 8 on the Lesley University Porter Campus, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. For information: http://willoughbychronicles.com. Written by Ted Page. The book is a collection of true family stories that chronicle my sometimes bizarre family life during the 1960s and ’70s, complete with the digging of a real-life Hobbit Hole, being left at the circus and a finale involving Page’s father and the first civilian air travel disaster in U.S. history. Two of the stories were originally published in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and Boston magazine.

Chamber in the A.M.: 8 to 9:30 a.m. March 8 at the AC Hotel by Marriott Boston Cambridge, 10 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge. The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce will host “Chamber in the A.M.” a networking event series designed to help attendees make connections before the work day begins. Participants are encouraged to bring their business cards. Light breakfast and coffee will be served.

Move It or Lose It — Eating to Keep Your Body Strong: 11 a.m. to noon March 8 at Cambridge Public Library Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway. To register: 617-864-1715; http://cambridgeneighbors.org. Roger Fielding, a researcher on the condition of muscle loss known as sarcopenia, will discuss tips to build muscle strength through exercise and the right mix of protein and other food sources. This lecture is part of the nutrition and healthy aging series hosted by Cambridge Neighbors and Tufts University’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. Free.

authors@mit: Daniel Jackson discusses Portraits of Resilience: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 8, The MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Daniel Jackson, photographer and professor of computer science at MIT, will discuss and sign copies of “Portraits of Resilience.” This event is free to attend, and copies of the book will be available at a 20 percent discount.

Friday, March 9

Seasonal Walkabout at Lusitania Wet meadow: 11 a.m. to noon March 9 at Fresh Pond Reservation, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. To register: 508-562-7605; jrogers@cambridgeMA.gov. Ranger Jean will lead a seasonal walkabout where guests will monitor wildlife by sign, track or presence and make note of weather, state of plants, condition of water and other abiotic resources. Guests are encouraged to dress to be outdoors for the hour. All knowledge levels welcome. Heavy rain postpones to the following Friday.

Music of Reality “Tears and Floods” concert: 7 p.m. March 9 at Killian Hall at MIT, 474-160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge. For information: http://musicofreality.com. The Music of Reality concert series brings musicians and scientists/researchers together. The concert will explore the “Venice problem” of rising seas and crumbling infrastructure and how it connects to global concerns. An informal Q&A will be held after the event at the Muddy Charles Pub. Tickets start at $10 online and $15 at the door.

Saturday, March 10

Cambridge Winter Farmers Market: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 10, at the Cambridge Winter Farmers Market, 5 Callender St. The Cambridge Winter Farmers Market will include over two dozen vendors each week across the full range of foods, including produce, meat, fish, dairy products, bakery goods, hot and cold drinks and prepared foods including ready-to-eat breakfast and lunch options. Customers can sit and eat, take in the live music performances on the market stage and participate in family-oriented events each week. The farmers market welcomes those paying with SNAP credit and will double their buying power up to $15 per customer per market day as well as participate in the newly launched HIP program.

MIT Professional Education — Women in Machine Learning: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 10 at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge. For information: http://bit.ly/2BoBOOp. This is a one-day course with professor Regina Barzilay, produced in concert with the MIT Women’s unConference. Payment of the $500 course fee grants registrants a promotional code for 50 percent off the Women’s unConference. The conference includes opening and closing keynotes, receptions and Saturday morning lightning talks.

Tree ID — Bark, Buds and Shape: 1 to 3 p.m. March 10 at Fresh Pond Reservation, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. To register: 508-562-7605; email jrogers@cambridgeMA.gov. Guests can fine-tune their tree identification skills. Attendees are encouraged to dress to be outdoors and bring a own hand-lens. All knowledge levels welcome.

Ladylike! The Female Dominated Comedy Show: 11 to 11:55 p.m. March 10 at ImprovBoston Main Theater, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. For information: http://facebook.com/ladylikecomedy.

Hosted by Caitlin Arcand, the program will feature Katie Arroyo, Kathryn Gironimi, Caitlin Reese, Christa Weiss, Denise Morin and Sami Anderson.

Sunday, March 11

Animal Detectives — Raccoons: 11 a.m. to noon March 11 at Fresh Pond Reservation, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. To register: tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov. Guests can see what it takes to be a raccoon and explore what they do and how they act. This family program is best suited for kids between 4-12. Accompanying adult must be present. Service dogs only. Attendees should appropriately as this is an outdoor program.

Shortfish — Iceland’s Premier Short Film Festival: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 11 at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. For information: http://bit.ly/toiBOS18. The screening will feature six short films from the 2017 Shortfish competition, the short film division of Iceland’s film festival, Stockfish. The program will run approximately 90 minutes. There are no age restrictions on these films, however, they are not recommended for children. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the program starts at 1 p.m. Admission is free and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Coro Allegro — We Will Rise: 3 p.m. March 11 in Sever Hall 102 at Harvard University, Cambridge. For information: http://coroallegro.org/season/we-will-rise. Coro Allegro and artistic director David Hodgkins will present “We Will Rise,” featuring the world premiere of “Rage Against the tyrant(s)” by Syrian American composer and Sharon resident, Kareem Roustom. Tickets cost $65-$15.

Irasel Folkdance Festival: 3 p.m. March 11 at Kresge Auditorium, MIT, 48 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. For tickets: http://bostonfestival.org. The event will feature hundreds of Israeli folk dancers. Alla Shimron is the 2018 Festival Honoree of the Year. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door. Rush tickets are $5 for college students with identification on the day of the festival. Group discounts are available in advance.

A Conversation with Engaging Minds: 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 13 at Cambridge Friends School, 5 Cadbury Road. Suggested donation is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To register: http://cfsmass.org/seminarseries. Join Dan Levine and Melissa Wilson, of Engaging Minds, will lead an exploration of strategies for reducing academic stress and strengthening executive functioning skills at home.

Wednesday, March 14

Affordable Housing Information Sessions: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 14 at the O’Connell Branch of the Cambridge Public Library, 48 Sixth St., Cambridge. Attendees will learn about the city of Cambridge’s affordable rental and homeownership programs. No advance registration required.

Free Fit + Fabulous Fitness Series: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 14 at CambridgeSide, 100 Cambridgeside Place. To register: http://cambridgeside.com. For the series, fitness experts will hold free classes for yoga, Zumba, pound, boot camps and more. The March 14 class will feature Fierce Fitness by Jess.

Thursday, March 15

Evacuation Day Lecture: 6:30 p.m. March 15 in the Longfellow House at Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St., Cambridge. To register: 617-876-4491; reservationsat105@gmail.com. For the annual celebration of Boston’s Evacuation Day, historian J. L. Bell will present “Myths and Realities of Henry Knox’s Mission.” J. L. Bell is the author of “The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War.” Attendance is free. Space is limited.

Assistance: 7:30 p.m. March 15-16 at in the Loeb Drama Center at American Repertory Theater, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge. For tickets: https://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/assistance. The program is written by Leslye Headland, directed by Scott Zigler and features graduate acting students from the A.R.T. Institute Class of 2018. Cost is $20.

Saturday, March 17

Welcome Spring Bird Walk: 9 to 11 a.m. March 17 at Fresh Pond Reservation, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. To register: friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com. Participants will see a variety of migrating waterfowl on the ponds, as well as songbirds in trees. Beginners are welcome. Binoculars will be available to borrow.

Bay State Skating School Learn-To-Skate Lessons: 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. March 17, Simoni Ice Rink, 155 Gore St., Cambridge. For information or registration: http://baystateskatingschool.org ; 781-890-8480. Professional instructors will teach recreational, figure and hockey skating skills to the beginner, intermediate and advanced skaters. Students can wear either figure, recreational or hockey skates.

authors@mit: Stephanie Burt and Lynn Melnick Poetry Reading: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 17, The MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Poets Stephanie Burt and Lynn Melnick will lead a reading and discussion of their recently published poetry, “Advice From the Lights” and “Landscape With Sex and Violence.”.

Sunday, March 18

Got to be Real — dance fundraiser to support disadvantaged LGBTQ youth: 10 a.m. to noon March 18 at the Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. For information: https://danceforlgbtq.ezevent.com. Proceeds will go to the Waltham House at the Home for Little Wanderers. Tickets are limited. This class is designed for dancers of all levels as a way to raise money for struggling and disadvantaged LGBTQ youth. No previous dance experience is required. Guests are encouraged to bring dancing shoes. Cost is $40.

World Water Day — World Water Treatment: 1 to 3 p.m. March 18 at Fresh Pond Reservation, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. To register: tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov. In honor of World Water Day, guests will look at how water is stored, treated and used in five of the sister cities across the planet. In this indoor program, participants will perform a water test kit activity provided by the World Water Day organizers, learn about sister cities and finish with a brief tour of thr water purification facility.

Monday, March 19

Weekly Walk for Health: 10 to 11 a.m. March 19 at Fresh Pond Reservation, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. For information: friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com. The group will walk the 2.25-mile perimeter of the pond. Participants will meet other park goers, get some exercise and notice what’s happening on the Reservation. All ages and abilities are welcome.

Ancient Egypt in Africa — New Excavations at the Island Fortress of Uronarti: 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 19 at Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge. For information: https://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/Ancient-Egypt-in-Africa. In this free and public lecture presented by the Harvard Semitic Museum with support from the Marcella Tilles Memorial Fund, Laurel Bestock, associate professor of archaeology and the ancient world, Egyptology and Assyriology, and the history of art and architecture at Brown University, will highlight recent archaeological finds at the site and discuss the intercultural encounters and lifestyles in this Egyptian colonial outpost. Free.

Tuesday, March 20

Persian New Year Celebration: 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 20 in Biolabs at Harvard University, Cambridge. For information: https://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/event/persian-new-year-celebration. Guests will celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year and the beginning of spring, with poetry, music, traditional sweets and an exploration of the traditional haft seen table. Free.

Media Girls: 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 20 at Cambridge Friends School, 5 Cadbury Road, Cambridge. For information or to register: http://cfsmass.org/seminarseries. In MEDIAGIRL’s 60-90-minute workshop, founder and executive director Michelle Cove will share a new road map with strategies to help parents and educators understand kids’ use of social media and guide girls in making social media fun, healthy and empowering. Suggested donation is $20 in advance; $25 at the door.

Wednesday, March 21

Fresh Air Walk — The Signs of Spring: noon to 1 p.m. March 21 at Fresh Pond Reservation, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge. For information: tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov. Ranger Tim will lead a walk that encompasses Fresh Pond and takes an informal look at each month in nature. In honor of the vernal equinox, the program will address how to observe the signs of spring with all five senses on the way around the pond. Rain or shine.

Free Fit + Fabulous Fitness Series: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 21 at CambridgeSide, 100 Cambridgeside Place. To register: http://cambridgeside.com. For the series, fitness experts will hold free classes for yoga, Zumba, pound, boot camps and more. The March 21 class will feature Fierce Fitness by Jess.

authors@mit — Christopher J. Preston discusses The Synthetic Age: 6 to 7 p.m. March 21 at the MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Christopher J. Preston will discuss and sign copies of “The Synthetic Age.” Books will be on sale at the event for 20 percent off, and event tickets will be available that include discounted books.

Thursday, March 22

Chamber After Hours at Summer Shack: 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 22 at Summer Shack, 149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge. Guests can grow their networking circle and develop new business relationships. Attendees should bring business cards.

Ongoing

Cambridge Winter Farmers Market: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at Cambridge Winter Farmers Market, 5 Callender St., Cambridge. The Cambridge Winter Farmers Market will include over two dozen vendors each week across the full range of foods including produce, meat, fish, dairy products, bakery goods, hot and cold drinks and prepared foods including ready-to-eat breakfast and lunch options. Customers can sit and eat, take in the live music performances on the market stage and participate in family-oriented events each week. The farmer’s market welcome those paying with SNAP credit and will double their buying power up to $15 per customer per market day as well as participate in the newly launched HIP program.

Bay State Skating School Learn-To-Skate Lessons: 2 to 2:50 p.m. Saturdays at Simoni Ice Rink, 155 Gore St., Cambridge. For information or registration: http://baystateskatingschool.org; 781-890-8480. Professional instructors will teach recreational, figure and hockey skating skills to the beginner, intermediate and advanced skaters. Students can wear either figure, recreational or hockey skates.

Microbial Life — A Universe at the Edge of Sight: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. For information: http://hmnh.harvard.edu/news/microbial-life-universe-edge-sight. Taking museum visitors through a multi-sensory journey into this realm, the Microbial Life odyssey provides an opportunity to experience the wonders of microbial activity and bacterial forms. From a full-scale model kitchen to captivating models from the Harvard Medical School, visitors can delve into the realm of microbes: Earth’s first inhabitants. Cost is $8-$12. Exhibit of Haitian Art by Renold Laurent: daily at the Cambridge Homes, 360 Mount Auburn St. As part of the January “Grab Your Passport! Destination: Haiti” program, The Cambridge Homes will host the works of Haitian artist Renold Laurent. Free. For information: http://thecambridgehomes.org.

“From Stone to Silicone: Recasting Mesopotamian Monuments”: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays-Fridays at the William James Hall Coffeehouse, 33 Kirkland St., Cambridge. Free. For information: http://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/stone-silicone. The Harvard Semitic Museum is reimagining its grand third-floor atrium gallery, featuring the arts of ancient Mesopotamia. This first installment showcases newly fabricated casts from the ancient scenes that once adorned Mesopotamian palace walls.

Mental health social club meeting: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays at the Mount Auburn Hospital Walk-in Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge. For information: 617-417-8736. The meetings offer coffee and conversation, a chance to socialize, meet new friends, peer counseling and support.

Overeaters Anonymous: 9:30 to 10 a.m. each Saturday at Spaulding Hospital, conference room No. 2, 1575 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 10 to 11 a.m. each Saturday at First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St.; and 1 to 2 p.m. each Tuesday at Christ Church, Zero Garden St., Cambridge. For information: 781-641-2303. Meetings for those who struggle with overeating.

Figure drawing: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays at the Kathryn Schultz Gallery, 25 Lowell St., Cambridge. This is a nude figure drawing session, with both short and long poses. There is no instructor present. Drop-in fees are $20 per session.

Passim School of Music lessons: various times and dates at the Passim School of Music, 26 Church St., Suite 300, Cambridge. Free. For information and registration: 617-492-5300; http://passim.org. The Passim School of Music is offering a variety of singing and instrument lessons. Programs include private voice lessons, banjo lessons, guitar lessons, harmonica lessons, fiddle lessons, music writing lessons and more. Each class varies in length, but is generally five to six sessions with varying costs.

Intro to Improv: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays, ImprovBoston Main Theater, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. One of ImprovBoston’s top instructors takes participants of every stripe through the basics of improv in a hands-on workshop. Food Truck Lunch on Erie: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on the Corner of Erie and Sidney streets, Cambridge. Food truck lunches. Gourmet sandwiches and fried sides from Compliments Food Truck and family-style Italian from The Pasta Pot.

Free Fencing Class: 10 to 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday at Olympia Fencing Center, 127 Smith Place, Cambridge. Olympic fencing class. Free. Co-ed and open to all ages.

Cambridge African-American Heritage Alliance: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at YWCA Cambridge, 7 Temple St. For information: 617-491-5529; 617-669-6263. Volunteer graphic artists, actors, costume designers, website builders, script writers, videographers, historians and many more volunteers are sought. Learn about the Cambridge African-American Heritage Trail and other interesting Cambridge history.

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Russell Apartments to receive renovation through MassHousing financing

MassHousing recently provided $13.9 million in financing to an affiliate of the Cambridge Housing Authority to launch an extensive renovation of the Russell Apartments, a 52-unit affordable housing community serving low-income senior citizens and disabled residents.

The transaction will also enable the Cambridge Housing Authority to extend affordability at the property for at least 30 years.

MassHousing is supporting the rehabilitation of the Russell Apartments through the Agency’s Conduit Loan Program. MassHousing will issue tax-exempt housing revenue bonds for public purchase and the proceeds will be used for construction purposes, in partnership with Wells Fargo Bank. The MassHousing conduit loan generated $8.2 million in equity financing for the project, through federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Project financing also includes a $6.4 million sponsor loan and a $6.3 million seller note.

“MassHousing is pleased to partner with the Cambridge Housing Authority, to help finance the significant improvements at the Russell Apartments through our Conduit Loan Program,” said MassHousing Acting Executive Director Tom Lyons. “This important modernization and preservation project will ensure the property remains affordable for its residents long into the future.”

The Russell Apartments are contained in a four-to-six story, midrise building at 2050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. As part of the transaction, the Cambridge Housing Authority will convert 51 existing one-bedroom, public housing units, to a project-based federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Contract. The Russell Apartments modernization project will also add a new apartment, bringing the unit total to 52 under the HAP contract.

“Cambridge Housing Authority welcomes the opportunity to partner with MassHousing on the renovation of Russell Apartments,” said Michael Johnston, CHA’s executive director. “The ability to make the type of reinvestment in the property afforded by the tax-exempt bond financing and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits is critical to our efforts to protect and preserve affordable housing units in Cambridge. We look forward to working again with MassHousing as we procced with plans to renovate 1,250 additional affordable units.”

Of the 52 units at Russell Apartments, five are for households earning at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income, 42 units are for households earning at or below 60 percent AMI and five units are for households earning at or below 80 percent AMI. The area median income for Cambridge is $103,400. As a result of the transaction, the 52 units will remain affordable for at least 30 years.

The Cambridge Housing Authority plans to construct new kitchens and bathrooms in all units, while upgrading common areas, HVAC and fire protection systems, undertaking elevator replacement and making siding and structural repairs.

MassHousing has financed or administers the rental subsidy for 14 rental housing communities in Cambridge involving 2,051 housing units and an original total loan amount of $137.1 million. MassHousing has additionally provided $68.5 million in financing to 550 Cambridge homebuyers or homeowners who refinanced their property.

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Identity theft presentation set for Feb. 15

Representatives from the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation will speak on the topic of identity theft at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Cambridge Housing Authority’s L.B. Johnson Apartments, 150 Erie St., Cambridge.

Robin Putnam, research and special projects manager, will present Consumer University with a focus on identity theft. The presentation will include information about the consumer education and advocacy mission of the Office of Consumer Affairs and will also cover how to spot and avoid scams and how to prevent identity theft.

For information, call 617-973-8767 or email chris.goetcheus@state.ma.us.

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Harvard Housing sets rents for 2018–19

Peabody Ter., one of 70 properties managed by Harvard University Housing.

Photo by David Kurtis ©

Harvard University Housing (HUH) manages approximately 3,000 apartments, offering a broad choice of locations, unit types, amenities, and sizes to meet the individual budgets and housing needs of eligible Harvard affiliates (full-time graduate students, faculty members, and employees). Read More

112 units of affordable housing planned for Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The development of 112 units of affordable housing in Cambridge, including the construction of a 16-unit building destroyed in a devastating fire, is a step closer.

The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency has closed on $22.6 million in financing for the nonprofit developer Just-A-Start Corporation. Read More