Two companies merge, create Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corp.

Two companies merge, create Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corp.

PAWTUCKET - Representatives from Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation and Realty Endeavors for Affordable Community Housing Inc. announced last week that the two companies merged on July 1, resulting in Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corporation.

The merger between PCDC and REACH is the result of combining two organizations, both with a primary focus on affordable housing development, which operate in the neighboring communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls. PCFDC will continue to address community development needs, with affordable housing remaining central, according to a news release.

PCDC is in its 25th year of operation and has been a "major force" in Pawtucket in acquiring residential property for the purpose of providing safe, affordable housing, fostering neighborhood revitalization and enhancing economic development in Pawtucket's neighborhoods, say representatives for the organization. PCDC has developed 184 units in Pawtucket and Central Falls and has had a "profound influence" in neighborhoods such as the Barton Street area through its work on housing, neighborhood building and Project RENEW initiatives.

"We are delighted with the outcome of our discussions with REACH and are optimistic that the merger of our two organizations will continue to provide decent, affordable housing, through rental and home ownership opportunities, to the residents of Pawtucket and Central Falls," said Nancy Whit, new executive director of PCFDC.

PCFDC's headquarters will be located at 204 Broad St., Pawtucket. With the retirement of REACH Executive Director Bill Siemers effective July 1, Whit assumes responsibility as the executive director of the new organization.

According to Whit, the decision to merge ultimately came down to dealing with an overall decrease in affordable housing dollars available. Those federal dollars have been disappearing over the past two to three years, she said.

PCDC was already doing work in Central Falls, so merging with REACH "seemed to make sense," said Whit. The merger will save dollars, with both Siemers and a bookkeeper retiring.

REACH is responsible for building many one- and two-family homes, something PCDC officials have wanted to get into for a while, said Whit. REACH also has its own crew to do much of the work.

REACH, also in its 25th year of operation, has an "equally impressive" track record in construction and rehabilitation of properties in Central Falls, and has provided both rental and home ownership opportunities to the city's residents, according to the release. Since it began operations, REACH has developed more than 108 units of rental housing and numerous properties for homeownership.

Said Siemers, "The merger of our two organizations will provide additional opportunities for PCFDC in Central Falls by utilizing REACH's construction process and further focus on homeownership opportunities as a complement to the development of rental units for the residents of both Pawtucket and Central Falls."