The City of Boston is investing $40 million to create and preserve 718 units of affordable housing in Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, Chinatown, Hyde Park, and Roxbury, Mayor Michelle Wu announced Tuesday.
“[It’s] a huge number that we’re really excited to see make a difference,” Wu said in an interview with Spare Change News.
The funded projects were recommended by the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Neighborhood Housing Trust, and the Community Preservation Fund, Wu’s office said in a statement. Projects that will receive funding include rental housing for families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. They will comply with the Mayor’s Office of Housing standards for zero-emissions buildings and represent transit-oriented green development. The initiative will also create new homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income Bostonians.
About $20 million in municipal and federal funds for the projects will be administered by the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the statement said.The Neighborhood Housing Trust also invested more than $7 through the City’s Linkage policy, which extracts affordable housing funds from developers of large commercial projects, and more than $14.6 million in funding would come through a recommendation made by the Community Preservation Committee.
“Housing stability has to be the foundation for our recovery,” Wu said. “And that means we need to jump on every possible opportunity, whether it is creating new affordable housing or renovating existing housing or boosting home ownership so more people can have control over their housing costs and that kind of stability.”
“There’s lots of ways that the City of Boston can continue to support activism around housing stability as well,” Wu said.
The City of Boston issued two requests for proposals in August offering funds for affordable housing developments, the statement said. There were 14 projects that were prioritized by the Mayor’s Office of Housing, then the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Community Preservation Committee, and the Neighborhood Housing Trust.
The proposals include allocating $3.5 million to Beacon Communities & Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association for the development of the 288 Harrison Residence, an 85 unit mixed-income development that will bring new affordable and income-restricted housing to Chinatown, the statement said. Another $2.5 million would go towards the construction of VietAID’s Hamilton at Mt. Everett in Dorchester, a four-story development with 36 one-bedroom income-restricted apartments, designed for individuals and couples 62 years and older.
About $2.1 million would go to towards the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation’s Talbot Commons II to create 42 income-restricted rental units on two vacant city-owned parcels in Dorchester. The project “provides a variety of unit sizes to accommodate small and large households,” according to the City’s statement.
Developers are required to agree to long-term affordability for all income-restricted units in order to receive funding to ensure that the units will remain affordable, the statement said.
“All rental projects are permanently deed-restricted, and all homeownership projects are deed-restricted for 50 years,” the statement said “In addition, developers of rental projects are required to set aside at least 10% of their units for homeless households, and projects that offered additional units at lower AMI levels received priority in the evaluation process.”
Wu said that the city will continue to look for ways to provide affordable housing.
“There’s much, much more need out there,” Wu said, “but the city has a chance to really be a key partner in financing and moving forward very significant affordable housing developments.”