Senior housing project nets grant

Construction still not scheduled

A senior housing project planned for Roxbury Crossing has scored crucial funding but is still not slated for construction.

A Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services (MHNHS) project for 40 units of low-income senior housing in Roxbury Crossing was awarded $6.2 million in grants from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to defray construction costs last month.

“The selection by HUD is a huge and necessary step to move forward, but we will still need to go through a state funding round and additional HUD approvals,” MHNHS Senior Project Manager Pat Flaherty told the Gazette. “If all goes well,” construction could start winter of 2012, Flaherty said.

The five-story Roxbury Crossing Senior Building, would be located on Parcel 29, behind AK’s Takeout on Tremont Street at Gurney Street and Gurney Street, a quirky intersection where both streets have the same name. It is a transit-oriented project that aims to keep its elderly residents self-sufficient. All of the 540-square-foot units will be universally adaptable—not originally wheelchair-accessible but easily made so—for residents who may age into those needs.

Construction still does not have a start date, as “state funding rounds are also very competitive at this time and there is a backlog of projects that are still awaiting funding,” Flaherty said. Residents are expected to start moving in 14 to 15 months after the start of construction, she added.

In addition to funding the construction of the project, HUD funds will also provide rental assistance so that residents only pay 30 percent of their adjusted incomes, according to a press release.

“The Roxbury Crossing Senior Building has long been awaited by the neighborhood and with this commitment of funding from HUD, we will be able to build the first project in the community’s vision” for Roxbury Crossing, MHNHS Board President Maria Sánchez said in the release. “This has been a real collaborative effort and I thank the hard work of all involved.”

Parcel 25, across the street from Parcel 29, has been under development by MHNHS since 2004.

The plans for Parcel 25 include 8 to 12 new neighborhood-serving retail stores and restaurants as well as more affordable housing. It does not yet have a construction start date.

Parcels 25 and 29 have been vacant since the 1960s, when the federal government proposed to extend I-95 through the area and began buying up and demolishing houses before community organizers halted the expansion.

MHNHS applied for the HUD funding in June.



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