Senior Housing in Brighton to Add Units for Disabled, Chronically Homeless

Seniors looking to live in Brighton this fall may be in luck now that the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE) campus is close to having 61 more units of affordable housing.

The units are being built at 132 Chestnut Hill Ave., which is down the road from 30 Wallingford Road where JCHE residents currently live. The Chestnut Hill Avenue building will connect to the Wallingford Road campus and will be known as the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg House.

The Weinberg House will have some retail space and will house seven chronically homeless seniors and a five-unit suite for those who are living with lifelong developmental disabilities.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Weinberg House was held on July 21 where elected officials explained how important the project is to seniors in the city.

“Seniors are the fastest growing demographic group in our city and one of the most economically challenged,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh told the crowd. “This represents an opportunity to build on our plan on housing for our seniors in our city and especially for our chronically homeless elders.”

Allston-Brighton City Councilor Mark Ciommo said the project is turning a blighted, underutilized building into a much-needed resource in the neighborhood.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that the JCHE won the bid, and I’m so glad that we’re here today to celebrate that,” Ciommo told residents.

State officials also described their work partnering with the city and philanthropists to get the project off the ground at a time when the future of federal funding is uncertain.

“People will be able to stay in what they call home for as long as the can,” said Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs Secretary Alice Bonner. “We hope this model can be brought to other parts of the states, particularly in rural areas.”

JCHE in Brighton serves 900 seniors in 700 apartments currently, all of which are low-income residents with an average income of less than $17,000 a year, many of whom are immigrants from 25 different countries.

Jordan Frias

Jordan Frias is an editorial assistant at Boston Herald and a contributor of Spare Change News. He is vice president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a graduate of Northeastern University's School of Journalism.

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