CCBA to report to attorney general about affordable housing plans
By Ling-Mei Wong
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England held its bimonthly meeting on July 30 at 90 Tyler Street.
The CCBA received a letter from the attorney general’s office on July 25 about its use of rental funds. It owns 50 Herald Street, or the SCM building, which is rented to the C-Mart supermarket. The SCM building was given to the CCBA by Tufts Medical Center for affordable housing. A restriction clause on financial reports about the rental income’s usage was removed in September 2012 after a CCBA board vote. The attorney general is investigating charges about the CCBA using the rental income for operational purposes, instead of affordable housing.
“Irrespective of the existence of a specific restriction, given the undisputed intent that the 50 Herald Street site be used for affordable housing purposes to benefit the Chinese community, we strongly suggest that CCBA report with greater transparency its use of funds derived from the building and that CCBA continue to restrict its use of such funds to purposes supporting the development and operation of affordable housing,” wrote Jonathan Green, assistant attorney general for the non-profit organizations/public charities division, in the letter.
The CCBA hired Frank Flynn as its legal counsel during the attorney general’s investigation. Flynn is to report quarterly to the attorney general, with the first report due Oct. 1. Legal fees cost the CCBA about $90,000 in 2012 and $21,945 for 2013, said treasurer Philip Huang.
John Pears, architect for Perkins Eastman, gave a presentation on what a mixed-use building could look like at the SCM site. The architectural sketches included residential units, retail space and a parking garage.
CCBA plans to refinance Waterford Place for a lower mortgage rate and new income percentage moved forward. It received a letter of invitation from the department of Housing and Urban Development to put its application in. The new mortgage rate will be determined once the application is approved. The current mortgage lender, Mass Housing Finance Agency, takes 75 percent of the income from Waterford Place, while CCBA gets the remaining 25 percent. If the refinancing application is approved, CCBA would take 75 percent for its nonprofit work and MHFA would get 25 percent.
Martin Keogh, city councilor at large candidate, campaigned for better schools, safer neighborhoods and more affordable housing.
CCBA is asking for donations to hire two full-time cleaners for Chinatown’s streets.
Four new directors joined the CCBA board. Chew Lun Association of New England replaced Sam W.P. Tse with Yeung Wai Hui, the Wang YMCA replaced Man Ho Chan with Executive Director Patricia Barnwell, Ni Lun Association replaced Yin Chi Wong with Wai Man Cheng and the Gin Family Association of New England replaced Paul Yan with Klyster Yen.
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