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Financing boosts senior housing at Devens

A planned senior housing development in Devens is set to move forward after receiving state financing.

Shirley Commons, a project of the nonprofit Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development, calls for 58 units of affordable housing for seniors in the Shirley Village Growth District on Hospital Road.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development is supporting the project through its recent award of $1.64 million in federal and state low income housing tax credits and $4.2 million in state subsidy funds.

Additionally, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston awarded the project $750,000 in subsidy funds, according to Gabrielle Geller, senior development manager for the Women’s Institute.


The remaining costs of the $18.9 million project are being funded through private borrowing.

Forty-two of the units will be rented to households earning no more than 60 percent of area median income, and 16 to those earning no more than 30 percent. Construction is targeted to begin early next year and be completed in the spring of 2020.

Located on the former Fort Devens military base in Ayer, Harvard, and Shirley and managed by MassDevelopment, Devens is home to nearly 300 residents and a varied mix of businesses, government organizations, and nonprofits.

Shirley Commons was made possible by a 2015 zoning change supported by the three towns that allows for up to 120 units of senior housing in the growth district.

“Shirley Commons represents the latest milestone in our mission to redevelop Devens into a full-fledged community, complete with growing residential neighborhoods and thriving businesses,” MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss said in a statement.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.