Briscoe School in Beverly, MA – Former Students May Soon Live in Massachusetts Housing

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The Hall Company of Lynn and Harborlight Homes of Beverly have reached an agreement on the sale of 102 apartments of The Hall Company’s holdings in Lynn.

The agreement between the Hall Company and Harborlight Homes is founded on a common goal for the Lynn community: keeping these 102 apartments as affordable, ensuring residents continue to have access to much-needed, affordable homes.

The Hall Company Inc. provides professional real estate management services in several North Shore communities including Lynn, Revere, Nahant, Peabody, Newburyport, and Salem. It is a multi-generational real estate company that has offered apartments at affordable rates for several decades. This is often referred to as “naturally occurring affordable housing.” The Hall Company wants these 102 apartments to remain affordable in perpetuity.

Harborlight Homes is a North Shore-based nonprofit housing organization working in 12 communities around the region, including Lynn. The affordable housing developer is currently partnering with The Haven Project to build Catalyst Housing on Munroe Street, which will provide homelessness prevention for young adults aging out of foster care.

Harborlight Homes, with a 60-year tradition of serving the North Shore with affordable housing creation and management, is concerned about gentrification and displacement on the North Shore, especially for essential workers and households of color.

With that as the focus of this transaction, Harborlight Homes has been collaborating with Gordy Hall and the Hall Company to find a way to purchase, improve, and protect 102 of these “naturally occurring” affordable apartment homes in the Hall Company portfolio. The goal is that all families in good standing would be allowed to remain as they are during this transition and into the future.

Andrew DeFranza, executive director for Harborlight Homes, states, “Gordy Hall has been incredibly helpful in giving Harborlight the time and support as we work to find a way to preserve these homes as affordable for the long term. His commitment to his tenants is unmatched, as is concern for the betterment of the Lynn community.” He continued, “We are talking with a wide variety of lenders in order to purchase the properties in 2024.”

“We believe that this transaction can serve as a model for other real estate owners concerned about the long-term affordability of housing in Greater Boston and Lynn, in particular. I had gotten to know Andrew over a period of years and came to believe that Harborlight could execute on a transaction like this and hoped it could have been even larger. We think that the lack of affordable housing in Greater Boston is a crisis, and we think by giving Harborlight an opportunity to purchase some of our properties, we help address this crisis,” Hall said.

Harborlight Homes manages all their properties, and eventually will manage these buildings. Harborlight will hold the properties while creating two successive affordable housing transactions, hopefully in partnership with the City and State over the next few years. The plan is to purchase 102 apartments by late June 2024, and then refinance the holdings in two phases, stretching from 2025 – 2027.

This is the first transaction of its kind for both Harborlight Homes and The Hall Company; both are enthusiastic about the prospect and potential this represents for affordable housing preservation.