At a recent community meeting the city’s Community Preservation Director Christine Poff updated residents on the Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding that is benefiting East Boston’s new and existing developments with CPA funding.
Before getting into specific CPA earmarks, Poff said that there are two citywide CPA programs that have been well utilized in the neighborhood.
First a pool of $5 million in CPA funds has helped the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s (NOAH) Acquisition Opportunity Program (AOP). Through this program NOAH has been able to combat displacement through the purchase of existing rental units and transforming them into ‘income-restricted’ units. This has made those units in the neighborhood permanent affordable housing via the AOP.
Another $3,8 million in citywide CPA funds has provided funding for a program offered by the Boston Home Center that has been helping income-qualified, first-time home buyers in Eastie buy their first home.
“In addition, the CPA team has exercised its influence at City Hall, and has been able to advocate for residents to get smaller projects addressed without a formal process like a spigot and re-seeding of Brophy Park and Umana garden clean-up,” said Poff.
Poff added that a priority for preservation is to work with the Boston Landmarks Commission to embark on a historical survey of Boston Neighborhoods. She said the goal would be to complete a plot-by-plot survey documenting every single building and Eastie is at the top of the list for this new program.
Poff said during the last round of funding in the spring, Eastie got a good amount of CPA funding grants for projects throughout the neighborhood.
There was $950,000 to the Grace Apartments development, which recently received Boston Planning and Development Agency Approval. Developed by the East Boston Community Development Organization (EBCDC), 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.
Another $735,200 will go to the proposed Aileron development to build seven housing units, including four affordable units. Overall the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, NOAH’s architect, Eastie-based Joy St Design, and the CDC has 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 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.
Eastie also receives $600,000 for a new playground at the East Boston Early Education Center. The new playground for ELC includes integrated classrooms for students with disabilities in K0 and first grade.
The Nantucket Lightship, Boston’s only floating museum docked at the Boston Shipyard and Marina on Marginal Street received $575,000 to restore the historic ship’s rusted hull.
There was another $500,000 to create a new park to connect the renovated Boston Housing Authority Orient Heights development to the surrounding neighborhood.
Finally $300,000 came through to build a fully accessible dock and dock house at LoPresti Park. This dock will create access to the waterfront for youth and an adaptive sailing program at LoPresti Park across from the Boston Housing Authority Jeffries Point development for those with handicaps.
Poff said applications are accepted twice per year. The deadline for this fall’s funding cycle is Sept. 27, 2019, at 4 p.m. For more info residents can visit www.boston.gov/community-preservation/how-apply-community-preservati on-funds.