Citizens Bank provides $10m loan to Soldier On, Inc. for veterans affordable housing

May 20, 2016 - Front Section

Agawam, MA According to Citizens Bank, its Community Development Lending Group is providing $10 million in construction financing to Soldier On, Inc. for the adaptive reuse of a former policy academy into a 51-unit affordable housing development for military veterans.

Soldier On is a nonprofit that provides social services and transitional and permanent housing for veterans.

The Citizens loan will be used to help turn the former Western Massachusetts Regional Police Academy at 702 South Westfield St. into the new Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village. The design calls for 51 studio apartments, dining facilities and offices. A 56-foot by 56-foot, single-story annex will be built and attached to the main building by a covered walkway. Thirteen of the units are reserved for veterans at or below 30% AMI, and 38 units for veterans at or below 60% AMI.

“We value our partnership with Citizens and appreciate the banking team’s great ideas and timely execution,” said Soldier On chief financial officer Bruce Buckley. “Citizens’ commitment to affordable housing and military veterans is clear. Their experience with these types of transactions makes a big difference.”

“We are very pleased to be part of the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village development and to be able to help the Soldier On team achieve its strategic and financial goals,” said Jerry Sargent, Massachusetts president of Citizens Bank. “Citizens is committed to supporting affordable housing and military veterans so this was a really great project for us.”

Citizens Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in Providence, R.I., is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $140.1 billion in assets as of March 31.

Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance.

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