Cambridge Housing Authority, Caritas Communities Work with Cambridge Savings Bank to Support Programs Focused on Combatting Homelessness in Boston
Cambridge Savings Bank (CSB), a full-service mutual bank with a customer-first approach and more than $5 billion in assets, today announced its financial support for two organizations fighting back against homelessness in the Boston area: Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) and Caritas Communities.
With a shared mission of offering housing to low-income individuals in the greater Boston area, CHA provides long-term rental housing and rental assistance through its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs, while Caritas leverages a unique pricing model to work with each of its 1,000+ residents to find an affordable rent based on their income.
The combination of economic fallout from the pandemic, the current active housing market and the cost of living in Cambridge has created a housing crisis. In fact, CHA has over 21,000 low-income individuals and families on its waiting list seeking subsidized housing – many of whom have been waiting years. To help CHA finance 52 units of affordable housing in Cambridge, CSB’s Corporate Banking team developed a customized lending package. The loan has also freed up strategic capital to build new housing, recapitalize existing space, and preserve current properties that often require substantial rehabs.
“Cambridge is the 3rd most expensive market in the Boston area; a place many families in our community call home, and it’s critical that we partner with organizations who are committed to solving the housing crisis,” said Mike Johnston, Executive Director at Cambridge Housing Authority. “We are proud to partner with a bank that has such a devoted passion for giving back to the community. The recent lending package and long-standing support we have received from CSB has allowed us to provide affordable housing and security to a number of families experiencing genuine hardship.”
In addition to housing assistance, CHA offers a voluntary five-year asset-building Family Stability and Savings (FSS) program in partnership with COMPASS Community Capital to help families transition away from reliance on subsidized housing. Improving the overall financial health of the Cambridge community is a shared goal between CHA and CSB, further deepening the relationship between the two organizations.
Since 2013, CSB has also donated $225,000 to Caritas to support their initiatives, and as recently as 2020, helped the nonprofit purchase two maintenance vans, enabling staff to maintain Caritas’ 33 properties. Deepening their relationship with Caritas even further, CSB Chief Customer Officer, Katie Catlender, has recently joined its Board of Directors. Over the years, many CSB employees have participated in volunteer activities and delivered care packages to the Caritas community to aid in preventing homelessness and improving lives.
“At CSB, we place immense value in enriching the lives of people in our communities and providing a resource for individuals and families to lean on during challenging times,” said Catlender. “It is an honor to work with Caritas Communities, CHA and other local organizations who work so hard to provide affordable housing to those who need it the most in Cambridge and the surrounding areas.”
CSB understands there are limited options for individuals who are seeking financial assistance. By partnering with organizations that support underserved communities, CSB continues to respond to the needs of its communities, including providing access to securing safe and affordable housing. For more information on CSB’s commitment to the communities they serve, please visit cambridgesavings.com/community.
About Cambridge Savings Bank
Cambridge Savings Bank is a full-service banking institution with over $5 billion in assets. As a mutual bank, CSB is committed to improving the quality of life of our employees, customers, and the communities we serve. One of the oldest and largest community banks in Massachusetts, Cambridge Savings Bank offers a full line of individual and business banking services across a robust Massachusetts-based branch network and through digital banking solutions for commercial, small business and consumer customers. To learn more about how we can meet your needs, visit us at cambridgesavings.com, or better yet, come meet us to help you make the most out of your banking relationship. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
About Cambridge Housing Authority:
Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) provides long-term rental housing and rental assistance to more than 5,500+ low-income families, elders and disabled individuals through its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs. CHA invests in Cambridge families and provides enhanced support to almost 10% of the city population. By focusing on policy innovation and family economic opportunities, CHA meets its mission: to develop and manage safe, good quality, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families in a manner that promotes citizenship, community, and self-reliance in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. You can find out more at cambridge-housing.org.
About Caritas Communities:
Caritas Communities was founded in 1985 as a practical solution to homelessness through modest, dignified housing with support for individuals struggling to earn a living wage. They have almost 1,000 units of single room occupancy or “dormitory-style” housing throughout Greater Boston. The housing is well managed, deeply affordable, and provides services to folks who need help in order to succeed in permanent housing. Seventy-five percent of their residents have experienced homelessness, and all have suffered from the trauma of poverty. For more information, visit caritascommunities.org.