BRA board approves 105A S. Huntington developer’s plan to move affordable units off-site

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) board approved on Sept. 17 the plan by the developer of 105A S. Huntington Ave. to move all the affordable units off-site, according to spokesperson Nick Martin.

As part of the proposal, the developer will raise the number of affordable units from 32 to 42.

Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez supports the move, while the Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s (JPNC) Housing and Development Committee both voted against the proposal.

The developer, Anthony Nader, did not respond to a request for comment.

The BRA board approved the original proposal in June 2013 to have 32 affordable units on-site. The project, which is for a 195-unit apartment building, was at that time expected to be completed by late 2015 or early 2016. No construction has started on the proposal.

According to BRA documents, Nader can meet the new affordable-housing requirement through one of three methods: purchase units from existing stock; construct new units; or sponsor the development of additional units by another developer. The affordable units must be in either Jamaica Plain or Mission Hill.

The BRA and Nader don’t have to enter into an agreement about those affordable units until a year after the completion of the 105A S. Huntington Ave. project. That means those affordable units could be years from entering into the City’s housing stock.

Kevin Moloney, chair of the JPNC and a member of the JPA, said he was “not surprised” by the BRA board’s decision. But, he added, building a development with all non-affordable units and putting those affordable units elsewhere “doesn’t make for a community.”

Sanchez said he supports the move because “it’s simple economics,” with Nader adding ten more affordable units than originally planned.

“We need more housing stock,” he said.

Sanchez also said that funding for affordable housing is the “hardest its ever been” to get.

When the Gazette said that the JPNC’s Housing and Development Committee and the JPA voted against the proposal, Sanchez replied, “They have their perspective, I have mine. I have been working on affordable housing for a long time.”

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