Mayor Walsh Announces $26 Million to Create Affordable Housing

Using the North End’s Knights of Columbus Hall as a backdrop, Mayor Martin Walsh announced $26 million in money to create affordable units not only at the Knights of Columbus, but also in East Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan, Mission Hill, North End, Brighton and Roxbury.

The funding recommended funding from the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Neighborhood Housing Trust, and the Community Preservation Fund, to create and preserve 515 units of affordable housing.

“As Boston continues to grow, we want to make sure everyone has a place to call home, no matter their income,” said Mayor Walsh. “It’s important now more than ever that we use every tool in our toolbox to build more housing for working families in our City. This announcement is a great example of how we’re building strong partnerships in the housing community to create more affordable housing options across all of our neighborhoods.”

In Eastie some of the funding will be directed to the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s (NOAH) Aileron Project.

In Eastie Walsh recommended $950,000 to the Grace Apartments development, which recently received Boston Planning and Development Agency Approval. Developed by the East Boston Community Development Organization (CDC), Grace Apartments will be a new 42-unit residential building serving low-income seniors located on 187 Sumner Street. The project will also renovate 17 income-restricted units on the site’s existing building.

 According to plans submitted to the BPDA by the CDC the proposed project involves the construction of a new 39,067 square foot,  42-unit seven-story building and the renovation of an existing 26,800 square foot building currently on the same site in Maverick Square.

The new building will include all low income elderly housing.The existing building, which includes 17 elderly/disabled subsidized units, as well as approximately 3,000 square feet of ground floor commercial, will be converted to workforce housing units, including two affordable units.

It was recommended that the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) gets  $735,200 for its proposed Aileron project to build seven housing units, including four affordable units. NOAH, its architect Eastie based Joy St Design, and the CDC have all joined forces to create a 41-unit project that includes a mixed-use,mixed-income, ownership/rental housing and gallery spaces for Eastie artist community and the community at­ large.

NOAH’s project, dubbed ‘Aileron’ will include eight ownership units, half workforce and half market, in one building with 33-units occupying a larger building next door. Of the 33 units in the larger building 17 will be set aside for artist work/living space.

NOAH is also proposing two large common spaces, a Gallery and Workbar, that will be available for the other residents in the building. These are communal spaces and are not be strictly artist work space. Giffee said the ‘workbar’ space will be on the ground floor of the 33-unit rental building.

The East Boston CDC will also take the lead on creating 23 affordable apartments for seniors, including three units of housing for homeless seniors, and a neighborhood meeting space, in the Knights of Columbus headquarters in the North End.

“Many thanks to Mayor Walsh and to the City of Boston for their ongoing commitment to affordable housing and the needs our seniors,” said President of the East Boston CDC Albert Caldarelli, “As a result of these new funds, the East Boston CDC will be able to create new affordable senior housing at the Grace Apartments in East Boston and in the North End. We look forward to working with the city as these developments get underway.”

According to the city the new funding will create 459 new units and preserve 56 units of housing. As a result of requesting proposals with a focus on creating affordable units, 290 units that will be created or preserved will be restricted to households with low, moderate, and middle income. The majority of these units will be accessible to households with incomes up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), which amounts to $65,000 or less for a family of four. The new units are a combination of homeownership and rental opportunities with some set aside for formerly homeless households, seniors, and artists.

“DND is excited that we were able to fund projects with such deep affordability, ranging from 50 percent of the Area Median Income to homeless individuals and the elderly,” said Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon. “I can’t wait to see these projects completed, and I want to thank the Neighborhood Housing Trust, the Community Preservation Committee, and our partners in the housing community for helping us create more affordable housing in Boston.”  

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