B’nai B’rith Homecrest House completes $2.5 Million in Property Upgrades

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(Silver Spring, Maryland – February, 2009) – B’nai B’rith Homecrest House has completed a $2.5 million dollar program of renovations and safety/security improvements on its Silver Spring campus, Joe Podson, Executive Director of B’nai B’rith Homecrest House, announced this month.

Continued Podson, “This is a bright note in a down economy, and we thank HUD and the B’nai B’rith Homecrest House Board of Directors for making the opportunity available to us and our residents.”  Homecrest House obtained $2.5 million dollars for repairs in a $9.6 million dollar refinance of its Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan.   B’nai B’rith Homecrest House is a prime example of one of the many affordable senior housing communities nationwide that have capitalized on several recent HUD loan regulation changes that combined to make refinancing a viable option.  Many affordable senior communities, Homecrest House included, were built under original interest rates of over nine (9) percent.  With lower interest rates and extended repayment terms, communities such as B’nai B’rith Homecrest House have been able to inject capital for physical repairs and upgrades as well as personnel additions to improve its residents’ quality of life and safety

Through the modification of the Federal Housing Administration loan program that helps to preserve affordable senior housing, Homecrest House has been able to use more than $2 million dollars in Government National Mortgage Association (GinnyMae) backed securities to decrease its interest rate and simultaneously extend the amortization on its outstanding debt while modernizing its interior.

The refinance provides for the replacement of and upgrades to boilers, resurfacing the parking lot, reconditioning its elevators, generators, life support and HVAC systems, and the installation of new fire alarm and security systems.  The lower mortgage payment has also allowed Homecrest House to expand direct resident services by expanding its Resident Services Office and bringing on a new Assistant Service Coordinator.  The refinancing further provided for a consolidation of the Homecrest House property budgets and bank accounts allowing for more efficient administration.

“The new notice made the refinancing possible, especially in today’s economy,” Executive Director Joe Podson said.  “It has allowed us to do things that will keep our buildings safe now and for many years to come. This really is a perfect example of the intent of the HUD and FHA program changes.  The new lower interest rate combined with the extended term of the refinance provided for our building and service improvements with no impact to the affordable rents our residents enjoy,”

The debt issue, which is insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is fixed at a low interest rate for seven years.  At Homecrest House, the 100 senior apartments in the Stein Building (constructed in 1979) and the 135 apartments in the Moskowitz Building (constructed in 1985) were built using a HUD Sec. 202 direct loan.  It was refinanced by applying HUD’s Notice 21 which changed the way 202 properties determine how much they can borrow to renovate or reposition their properties.  It opened a funding door for more than 4,000 affordable senior communities nationwide.

B’nai B’rith Homecrest House opened its first building in 1979. It was the result of committed members of National Capital Area B’nai B’rith Lodges to bring affordable senior living the greater Washington, D.C. area.  It continues today as a non-profit organization with its own local board of directors, proudly serving persons of all faiths and incomes.

Nestled amidst 10 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds with its own lake, the three buildings of Homecrest House provide 235 apartments for congregant senior living and 42 apartments for congregant senior living with enhanced, assisted services.  It also has a limited number of apartments for adults with physical mobility challenges.  All B’nai B’rith Homecrest House apartments are eligible for subsidies to assist seniors with limited incomes.  B’nai B’rith Homecrest House is currently accepting resident applications.

Homecrest House is located at 14508 Homecrest Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20906.As a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation, Homecrest House further welcomes contributions and donations to allow it to continue providing vital, affordable senior living opportunities.

For more information on residential opportunities at Homecrest House or for details on how one can contribute to B’nai B’rith Homecrest House, please contact Chuck Thornton, Director of Marketing and Development, at 301-598-4000, Extension 79.

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