RBS Citizens’ $1b commitment to affordable housing will help Mass. projects

RBS Citizens Financial Group, perhaps best known locally for Citizens Bank in Massachusetts, has announced a five-year commitment to provide $1 billion in funding for affordable housing and community development projects across its 12-state footprint.

The loans and investments made through this program are part of the bank’s ongoing efforts to provide communities with innovative products and services to support community stabilization and economic health.

One project set to receive help is in Boston’s South End neighborhood. RBS Citizens said it has made a $13 million LIHTC equity investment in Cornerstone/National Affordable Housing Trust Enhanced Preservation Fund 2013-LP. Proceeds will be used by the Community Builders for the substantial rehabilitation of 146 units of urban family housing for households with incomes at or below 60 percent of median income.

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Another Massachusetts community in line to get help is Marion Village Estates in Marion. RBS Citizens said it has committed a total of $13 million in LIHTC construction financing and letters of credit and a $10 million LIHTC equity investment through its proprietary fund with Boston Financial to an entity formed by Baywatch Realty Trust to finance construction of 60 new affordable housing units there.

“Our focus on supporting the communities we serve has never been more central to our work as a bank, and we’re proud to express our continuing long-term commitment to community development with this $1 billion initiative over the next five years,” Robert Matthews, vice chairman of commercial banking at RBS Citizens Financial Group, said in a statement. “We are excited for this work to begin and have already established the necessary foundation with the creation of our Community Development Division, which is now identifying opportunities to make a difference in the communities where we live and work.”