$69 Million Investment to Create and Preserve More Than 775 Income-Restricted Homes Across Boston

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In collaboration with the Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT) and the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), Mayor Wu recommended funding to be awarded to projects that will create or preserve 826 housing units, with 775 designated as income-restricted homes. The $68.96 million in awards will support 14 developments spanning nine neighborhoods, utilizing various funding resources such as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), HOME, Community Preservation Act (CPA), and Linkage.

"Collaborating closely with community across neighborhoods, we're leveraging all available resources within the city to tackle Boston's housing challenges," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "These housing grants will strengthen our communities, enhance affordability, and continue to establish Boston as a home for current residents, families, and future generations. Thank you to the Neighborhood Housing Trust and the Community Preservation Committee for their partnership as we continue our efforts to build a Boston that is home for everyone."

The Mayor's Office of Housing, the CPC and the NHT released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit support for income-restricted housing initiatives. In response to the RFP, 24 teams submitted proposals totaling over $115 million. The submissions were subjected to a rigorous evaluation against specific criteria, including team capacity, financial feasibility, cost to public funders, design, equity and inclusion, community support, and market need.

"Today's funding will create 775 affordable homes for residents across the city. These developments are designed to offer residents stable and economically viable housing options and will assist us to meet our climate and equity goals," said Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing. "These funding awards will support the creation of rental, homeownership and supportive housing developments, catering to the diverse needs of the community."

The RFP required developers to support and implement the City of Boston's equity & inclusion goals. Projects where Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) represented 30% or more of the development team leadership received a high preference for funding awards. Development teams where 30% or more of soft costs, such as architects or engineering, go to Minority or Women Owned Enterprises (MWBE) subcontractors also received this preference. Applicants were further required to submit a plan for services offered to residents in income-restricted homes in multifamily buildings that will help support the economic mobility of those residents.

"Many of these projects, which went through the BPDA's development review process, provide the opportunity to create more vibrant, mixed-income neighborhoods," said Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison. "The Neighborhood Housing Trust is an important tool in our tool box to ensure that desperately needed affordable housing is properly funded and can get online in an expedient manner, and I'm excited to be celebrating some of those projects here today."

All new construction projects funded in this round will be required to follow the Zero Emissions Building (ZEB) requirements outlined in the MOH Design Standards. Proposals include housing opportunities for renters, owners, elderly, artists, and youth aging out of the foster care system. Many proposals are located closely to transit and include community space for new tenants and the broader community.

"Securing and nurturing affordable housing is the cornerstone for vitality and inclusivity in Boston's neighborhoods," said Felicia Jacques, Chair of the Community Preservation Committee. "With escalating housing costs, many families and individuals face the reality of being priced out, leading to heightened displacement and diminishing diversity. The CPC is committed to channeling resources towards innovative, climate-resilient, affordable housing endeavors that create secure and nurturing homes for our community members."

"As Boston evolves, our commitment to fostering inclusive communities through accessible housing remains paramount," said Catherine Hardaway, Chairperson of the Neighborhood Housing Trust. "Accessible housing not only fosters stability and quality living spaces for our residents but also serves as a catalyst for economic progress and societal fairness. Through collaborative efforts with developers, community stakeholders, and residents, the Neighborhood Housing Trust remains steadfast in its mission to champion innovative solutions in affordable housing. By prioritizing investments in accessible housing, we strengthen our neighborhoods, creating environments where every individual can thrive and contribute."

"We are immensely proud to be selected as a recipient of this year's affordable housing funding awards, furthering our commitment to inclusive and accessible housing solutions. Norfolk Design & Construction, as a Minority-Owned and Veteran-Owned enterprise, is honored to contribute to Mayor Michelle Wu's vision of equitable housing for all," said Adler Bernadin, President, Norfolk Design & Construction. "Our Mildred Ave development project, through the integration of affordable housing and a community garden, we aim to create a space that nurtures both physical and social health. We extend our gratitude to Mayor Michelle Wu, the Mayor's Office of Housing, Neighborhood Housing Trust, and the Community Preservation Committee for their commitment to addressing the critical need for inclusive housing solutions in our city."

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"East Boston Community Development Corporation is grateful to the City of Boston for its unwavering support and commitment to our mission of fostering vibrant, inclusive communities," said Sal Colombo, President of East Boston Community Development Corporation. "With the funding provided by the city, our project at 2 Shawsheen is poised to make a meaningful impact in the Orient Heights neighborhood. The construction of 22 new affordable homeownership units will not only address the pressing need for accessible housing but also cater to the specific needs of moderate-income families requiring larger living spaces. This collaboration underscores our shared vision of creating a thriving, equitable community."

The awarded projects are found in neighborhoods across the City including:

Allston / Brighton:
  • 95 Everett Street is an 88-unit, transit-oriented development by Pennrose, LLC. Within this development, 73 units will be allocated for households with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income. Additionally, the building will feature first-floor space designated for local commercial and/or community cultural uses.

Charlestown:
  • Independence at the Navy Yard is a project led by The Planning Office of Urban Affairs and St. Francis House, which will convert the vacant Constitution Inn into 100 units of affordable rental housing. Among these, 48 units will be dedicated to providing supportive housing for women and veterans transitioning out of homelessness. The remaining 52 units will be available for households with incomes ranging from 30% to 80% of the area median income.

Dorchester:
  • The New North Building on St. Mary's Campus is a collaboration between St. Mary's Center for Women and Children and the Planning Office of Urban Affairs and is the first phase of the St. Mary's campus revitalization. This phase will replace an outdated shelter building and parking structure with 71 new apartments. These residences will be dedicated to families transitioning out of homelessness, with eligibility for households earning up to 30% of the area median income. Residents of this building will benefit from enhanced program spaces and comprehensive supportive services.
  • 150 Centre Street at Shawmut Station, a project by Trinity Financial, will create 72 new affordable rental homes at a transit-oriented site, adjacent to the Shawmut MBTA station. The proposed buildings will offer a range of apartment sizes to accommodate households with incomes spanning from 30% to 120% of the area median income.
  • 247 Hancock Street will be developed by Arx Urban. The project will convert an underutilized car wash into a residential complex. This mixed-income, transit-oriented development will create 47 rental homes. 35 of the homes will be reserved for households with incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the area median income.
  • Hillsboro Live Work Condominiums, a development by New Atlantic Development in collaboration with the Humphrey's Street Artist community, will construct 21 new affordable homeownership units, with a preference for artists. The project will serve a variety of household sizes with incomes between 80% and 100% of the area median income.

East Boston:
  • 2 Shawsheen, a project by the East Boston Community Development Corporation, will construct 22 new affordable homeownership units on a vacant site in the Orient Heights neighborhood of East Boston. These units are specifically designed to accommodate moderate-income families with larger space requirements, who earn between 70 to 100% of the area median income. A future phase will create rental housing, contributing to a diverse range of affordable housing options within this neighborhood.

Jamaica Plain:
  • The Forbes Building, a project by the Jamaica Plain Company, contains 147 units of occupied, currently unrestricted, mixed-income housing. To preserve its affordability, eliminate its reliance on fossil fuels, and allow it to become passive house and BERDO compliant, the proposed development will utilize significant public and private investment.

Mattapan:
  • Residences at Blue Hill is a proposed residential development by Lincoln Avenue Capital. Located on the corner of Blue Hill Avenue and Culbert Street, this five-story building will create 41 new income-restricted apartments on a previously vacant site. The apartments will be accessible to households with incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the area median income.
  • Tree House at Olmsted Village will be constructed on one of the remaining sites at the former Mattapan State Hospital campus. 2 Life Communities will create 40 apartments for older adults with incomes between 30% and 60% of the area median income.  Additionally, the development will provide new housing for adoptive and foster families and apartments for youth transitioning out of the foster care system. Emphasizing community inclusivity, the project will feature gathering areas, a play space, and a community kitchen.
  • 30-36 Mildred Avenue, a collaborative effort between Norfolk Design & Construction and the Trustees of Reservations and the surrounding community, will develop four city-owned parcels into six new homeownership units and a community garden. These units are intended for buyers with incomes falling between 80% and 100% of the area median income and will provide an opportunity for homeownership within the community.

Mission Hill:
  • Parcel 25 Phase 3 marks a significant project by Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services, involving the development of a six-story building with 94 units. Situated on an MBTA-owned parcel adjacent to the Roxbury Crossing Orange Line stop, this development plays a crucial role in fulfilling the community's vision for the revitalization of the neighborhood. The project is designed to accommodate residents with incomes ranging from 30% to 80% of the area median income.

Roslindale:
  • 4200 Washington Street, a transit-oriented development centrally located in Roslindale Village, is set to offer 31 units of mixed-income housing, 27 of units will be restricted to households earning up to 60% area median income. Additionally, the development encompasses over 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and includes a 2,500-square-foot community theater. Developed by Boston Communities, the project emphasizes the retention of existing businesses on the site, contributing to the vibrancy and continuity of the local business community.

Roxbury:
  • Nehemiah at 157 Blue Hill Avenue is a collaborative effort between Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church and Nuestra Communidad. This four-story development will create 26 income-restricted family rental units for households earning up to 60% area median income. Situated adjacent to an existing church, the residential building will provide essential housing and feature 2000 sq. ft. of community space for resident use as well as local events and learning opportunities.

The City of Boston sets criteria for funding decisions aimed at advancing its commitment to equitable mixed-income housing. Proposals were evaluated based on their ability to, among other things, utilize City-owned land; target diverse income brackets; minimize construction costs; cater to specific community needs such as the disabled and veterans; stabilize existing tenancies; address impending affordability loss; and focus on neighborhoods with limited income-restricted housing. Priority was given to large projects with a significant proportion of income-restricted units and projects in high-cost areas. The criteria are meant to ensure the strategic allocation of resources towards projects that enhance long-term affordability and accessibility citywide.

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The allocation of funding for 775 units of affordable housing represents continued progress towards the Wu administration's affordable housing production goal of 4,700 new units by 2025. By the end of 2023, the City had permitted 2,291 of those units, which represents nearly half of the target. The newly developed Boston Housing Strategy story map outlines the City's housing and development goals and the strategies through which it is seeking to accomplish them. The Strategy is paired with a dashboard that outlines the progress made towards achieving each of the goals during the last two years.

About the Mayor's Office of Housing

The Mayor's Office of Housing (MOH) works with partners to create and preserve affordable housing and prevent displacement, while supporting at-risk residents with housing stabilization services. MOH leads Continuum of Care services for Boston, connecting unsheltered individuals and those struggling with substance abuse disorder to housing and care. Through the Boston Home Center, MOH provides funding and technical assistance to boost homeownership opportunities for BIPOC and lower-income residents, and supports critical repairs to make Boston's housing stock climate-ready and fossil fuel free. As stewards of tax-foreclosed land and buildings, MOH works with Boston's residents to create and preserve urban agriculture and open space. For more information, please visit the MOH website.

About the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA)

As the City of Boston's urban planning and economic development agency, the BPDA works in partnership with the community to plan Boston's future while respecting its past. The agency's passionate and knowledgeable staff guides physical, social, and economic change in Boston's neighborhoods and its downtown to shape a more prosperous, resilient, and vibrant city for all. The BPDA also prepares residents for new opportunities through employment training, human services and job creation. Learn more at bostonplans.org, and follow us on Twitter @BostonPlans.

About the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund (NHT)

The NHT Fund supports homeownership, rental, cooperative, transitional, and permanent housing developments. The fund provides financing for projects serving households earning at or below 50% AMI and gives preference to populations that face barriers in securing housing, including seniors and people with disabilities. Funding is awarded as gap financing, and each applicant may receive no more than $750,000 per project. Priority is given to projects serving the greatest number of low-income households. The program also has a preference for projects that are near transit, and include family-sized units with two or more bedrooms. Boston's Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund is funded through a commercial project linkage payment fee system.

About the Community Preservation Act (CPA)

After Boston voters adopted the CPA in November 2016, the City created a Community Preservation Fund. This fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills that began in July 2017. The City uses this revenue to fund initiatives consistent with statewide CPA guidelines: income-restricted housing, historic preservation, open space, and public recreation. The funding of any project requires a recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee and appropriation by the City. For more information, please visit the Community Preservation webpage.

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