NEW FUNDING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONSTRUCTION IN BOSTON
Funding will create or preserve 436 new units of housing in Boston.
Building on his commitment to create more affordable housing in the City of Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the Department of Neighborhood Development(DND) and the Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT) Fund have awarded more than $15 million in funds to seven rental projects across Boston. These awards will help fund the production and preservation of 354 units of affordable housing in Boston.
“Preserving Boston’s affordability is key to ensuring everyone who wants to live here can afford to do so,” said Mayor Walsh. “It’s important now more than ever that we use every resource available to build more housing for working families in our City. I’m proud that by working together with our partners in the Neighborhood Housing Trust, this funding will help us preserve and create more affordable housing in Boston.”
The funding awards for the seven new housing proposals total $10.4 million of HOME, Community Development Block Grant, and Inclusionary Development funding along with $4.25 million in Linkage funding. The Neighborhood Housing Trust also supported a funding measure to the Boston and Planning Development Agency (BPDA) for a Housing Creation award in the amount of $1.2 million.
The seven projects receiving funding will create 436 units of housing. Of these units, 354 units will be income restricted to low-, moderate- and middle-income households. The City’s most recent Request for Proposals for funding put a premium on the creation of units of housing for very low-income households; as a result, 139 units of affordable housing will be accessible to households with incomes at 50 percent or below the Area Median Income, which amounts to $51,000 or less for a family of four. 47 of these units will be set aside for formerly homeless households, and 64 units will be available to households earning less than 30 percent of Area Median Income — $31,000 for a family of four.
To ensure that all units recieving City funding will remain affordable, all affordable units will have a deed restriction in perpetuity. In all cases, the projects have been carefully underwritten to leverage alternative sources to minimize City funding.
“Our team is extremely proud that we were able to fund projects with such deep affordability, ranging from 60 percent of the area median income to homeless individuals,” said Boston’s Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon. “I can’t wait to see these projects completed, and I want to thank the Neighborhood Housing Trust and our partners for helping us create more affordable housing in Boston.”
“Many thanks to Mayor Marty Walsh and to the City of Boston for their ongoing commitment to redevelop Roxbury and Jamaica Plain,” said Frank Shea, Urban Edge’s Chief Executive Officer. “The Holtzer Park project, which is part of a larger effort with our partners at Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and The Community Builders to strengthen the community for all of the families living here, will bring 62 new affordable apartments to the area. We are thrilled to be in partnership with the Boston Housing Authority on this project and we look forward to working with the city as this development gets underway.”
With the awarding of these funds, the Walsh Administration has now committed more than $115 million in affordable housing funding since Mayor Walsh took office. Since the launch of Housing Boston 2030, 4,649 new income-restricted units have been permitted, of which 2,234 are targeted to low-income households. There are an additional 4,240 deed-restricted units in the City’s development pipeline.
Today’s announcement contributes to the goal of creating 6,500 new units of affordable housing outlined in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, Mayor Walsh’s housing plan, and also supports Boston’s Way Home, the administration’s plan to end chronic homelessness. In addition, the growth of affordable housing in Boston supports the goals of Imagine Boston 2030, Boston’s citywide plan.
The following is a complete list of the developments that have received funding awards:
191 -195 Bowdoin Street
Viet AID proposes to combine a city-owned parcel with an adjacent privately-owned parcel to create 41 affordable rental units and approximately 7,000 square feet of commercial space.
270 Huntington Street
Renovation and preservation of 72 affordable rental units in the Fenway.
125 Amory Street
In response to the BHA’s RFP for the 125 Amory Street site, Urban Edge is proposing to construct 62 new units of affordable rental housing in Jamaica Plain.
The development team for Mattapan Station includes The Preservation of Affordable Housing & Nuestra Comunidad CDC. The development comprises 135 units of mixed income rental housing in Mattapan, with 69 affordable rental units and 66 market rate units. The first floor of the development will also include 10,000 square feet of commercial space.
872 Morton Street
The development team of the Caribbean Integration Community Development & Planning Office for Urban Affairs will create a 38-unit, mixed-income development, along with over 2,000 square feet of commercial space. The site will also include a serenity garden to be named after Stephen P. Odom. The developer is working closely with the Parks Department to design the serenity garden.
Parcel 25 is a 3 phase, transit-oriented development located on a site formerly owned by the MBTA and located across from the Roxbury Crossing MBTA station. The 2nd phase will create 46 units of affordable rental housing. The Trust voted to support an a Housing Creation proposal in the amount of $1,250,000 from Children’s Hospital in December.
Bartlett Building A
As the next phase of the Bartlett Yard redevelopment, the Developer Nuestra Comunidad will create 42 units of mixed income rental housing along with 14,000 square feet of commercial space and 20,000 square feet of office space.
To help choose appropriate developments for funding, the City of Boston has established funding priorities, based on the goals outlined in Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030.
Proposals submitted are expected to fall under at least one of the priority criteria:
- Affordable housing developments that utilize City-owned land.
- Affordable housing developments targeting a mix of incomes: from units for homeless households to units targeted and restricted to incomes representative of Boston’s workforce. The City prioritizes proposals that, in addition to the homeless set-aside, provide some portion of units targeting extremely low income tenancies.
- Affordable housing developments that have reduced the cost to build and/or efficiently use subsidy so that the project is able to move into construction more quickly.
- Affordable housing developments that provide units that serve the disabled community, vulnerable or special needs populations, elders, veterans, artists, aging out youth, etc.
- Acquisition of unrestricted housing developments in order to stabilize the tenancies, and provide long term affordability for a mix of incomes (i.e. unrestricted properties).
- Developments that are at risk of losing their affordability within 5 years.
- Large projects with more than 50 units of housing, of which at least 51 percent will be deed-restricted affordable units.
- Projects creating new affordable units in high-cost neighborhoods where most of the IDP funds are generated.
- Projects that contain affordable units that cannot be funded from other subsidy sources available under this RFP, or through the Neighborhood Housing Trust RFP.
- Projects that can quickly acquire existing unregulated units and convert them into long-term affordable housing.
To date, the Walsh Administration has committed more than $100 million in funding to the creation and preservation of affordable housing. Today’s announcement builds on the City’s preservation and anti-displacement goals, outlined in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, Mayor Walsh’s housing plan, and the housing goals laid out in Imagine Boston 2030, Boston’s first citywide plan in 50 years. As part of both plans, Boston has prioritized increasing the overall housing supply, with a focus on creating and preserving affordable housing.