Mayor Walsh Announces $26 Million to Create Affordable Housing

By John Lynds

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 in Mission Hill, East Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan, 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 Mission Hill $927,500 in funding has been recommended by Walsh for the Terrace Street Artist Apartments. The developer is proposing to build 13 home ownership units in City-owned land with live/work space for qualified artists earning between 70-80 percent of the Area Median Income or between $60,000 and almost $70,000 for a two-person household.

The project was approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency last October and consists of approximately 11,889 square feet of land that abuts a steep hill to the rear leading up to Parker Street. 

According to the city, Terrace Street is undergoing a unique transformation as parcels are being converted from underutilized industrial or commercial uses, to residential uses.  For example, the Oliver Lofts project, also known as the Pickle Factory project, developed by Winn Companies, located at 166 Terrace Street, transformed an existing underutilized lot into 62 residential units, and the Parker and Terrace Street development, developed by Sebastian Mariscal, located at 77 Terrace Street, proposes to transform a vacant city owned parcel into 60 residential units and commercial retail space at grade.

The developer is proposing to construct a new five story, 42-unit residential building with 21 parking spaces and forty-eight 48 bike parking spaces. 

Before gaining BPDA approval the project was modified from its originally-proposed plans by reducing the number of units and total square footage proposed, stepping back the

fourth floor and fifth floor of the building to lessen the building height impacts at the front elevation and along Terrace Street, and specific design changes to better mimic an industrial loft style building.   

The project also includes an artist live/work space and will be marketed as one of the affordable units and the City of Boston Artist Housing Guidelines.

The project consists of a mix of studio units, one bedroom units and two bedroom units. According to the developer there will be approximately 12 studio units, ranging from 451 square feet to 577 square feet, 25, one-bedroom units, ranging from 631 square feet to 872 square feet and four, two-bedroom units ranging from 941 square feet to 1085 square feet.  Some units will have access to private roof terraces or balconies located on the second, third, fourth and fifth floors.  Five of these units will be designated as affordable units in accordance with the city’s Inclusionary Development Program.

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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