AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE CITY HAS A RECORD PRODUCTION YEAR
With 1,550 new units permitted, fiscal year 2022 was the best year on record for affordable housing development. While a significant number of new Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units were created, the majority of production was city-funded affordable housing projects.
In just two years, MOH has more than doubled its output. Calendar year 2022 is on track to be equally impressive—for the first eight months of the year, 807 new affordable units have been permitted—double the pace recorded for the first eight months of 2021. Another 685 MOH-funded units are planned for the next four months bringing the 2022 forecast to almost 1,500 units—MOH’s best calendar year ever recorded.
9 BOSTON PROJECTS AWARDED STATE FUNDING
At the end of August, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced $50 million in direct funding and $90 million in tax credit awards to support 26 projects across the state.
The awards include nine Boston projects:
- Carol Avenue in Allston/Brighton
- 288 Harrison Avenue in Chinatown
- Harvard Street Housing (also known as DMH Housing at Harvard Commons)
- 127 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain
- 150 River Street in Mattapan
- Bartlett Station V in Roxbury
- Aileron Rental in East Boston (Rendering Above)
- 2085 Washington Street in Roxbury (Rendering Below)
- 273-287 Highland Street in Roxbury
These projects represent a total of 307 new income restricted units and 33 preserved affordable units that will contribute to the affordable housing stock in the city.
REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR $50 MILLION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
In mid-August, the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) released two Requests for Proposals totaling $50 million for affordable housing projects. This funding is available to create and preserve rental, cooperative, and homeownership developments in Boston.
The $50 million available represents the contributions of three different City sources whose combined resources will ensure a deeper impact for low, moderate, and middle-income Bostonians. Thirty million dollars will be offered from funding sources controlled by MOH and the Community Preservation Fund. The Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund is contributing the remaining $20 million in revenue from commercial real estate extractions, through the Linkage program.
MOH, the Community Preservation Committee, and the Neighborhood Housing Trust will prioritize development proposals that produce significant percentages of housing for residents who have low incomes and those that serve homeless individuals, seniors, and residents with disabilities. The development projects must also support the City of Boston’s goals to further fair housing, efficiently use City resources and land to increase the production and preservation of mixed-income housing, and help preserve affordable housing in at-risk, expiring use developments.
Final proposals are due by September 30, 2022, no later than 4 pm. Interested applicants may register for a package on the Requests for Proposals webpage.
CITY MAKES $1 MILLION AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS
In early August, the City made $1 million available for the Affordable Commercial Assistance Fund (ACAF) to help sustain local businesses and community-based nonprofits operating in affordable housing buildings.
ACAF enables property owners to lower their commercial rents and support the growth of small, local businesses and community based organizations in neighborhoods across the city. The funding will be available to owners of buildings with City-supported affordable rental or homeownership housing and commercial space.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, allowing applicants to submit a response to the Request for Proposals (RFP) while funds remain. The City anticipates that this new fund will ensure the affordability of approximately 35,000 square feet of commercial space accessible to local small businesses and nonprofits that would otherwise be unable to afford market rents.
MOH will prioritize applications for commercial spaces that are either on the ground floor or contribute to an active street space and proposals that can demonstrate significant community and neighborhood ties for the proposed tenants.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing has participated in a number of public events this summer, including the very well attended Roxbury Open Streets.
MOH staff from the Office of Housing Stability, Real Estate Management & Sales (REMS), and the Boston Home Center were there to answer residents’ questions about the agency’s programs and services, and enjoy the day itself. Teams rotated coverage of the table while enjoying all the event had to offer. A number of City-owned parcels along the street corridor were activated throughout the day, and REMS was there to ensure that all went well for set up and break down and throughout the day. Staff is looking forward to the Dorchester Open Streets in September!
BOSTON HOME CENTER AIDS DISTRESSED OLDER RESIDENT
Everyone knows how very hot this summer has been. In late August, a senior gentleman called 311 on a weekend saying he had a plumbing leak. The Boston Home Center’s (BHC) Homeowner Services assists eligible homeowners with repairs to their homes. BHC staff responded to the call and sent our senior agency partner, ESAC, to assess the water issue.
After several failed attempts to reach the Homeowner, our worried partner reached back out to BHC staff, who called Boston Police and Boston EMS for a wellness check. BPD found the owner alone and unresponsive in a house where temperatures were exceeding 100 degrees. Boston EMS treated the owner who was disoriented from the heat.
With the flooding on the property, the Boston Fire Department was called to assist and had to shut off the power to the property. BHC staff continued coordinating on the case throughout the weekend, working with ESAC to not only get an emergency plumber in to fix the leak, but to get both the power and more importantly, the air conditioning turned back on so that this gentleman could remain safely in his home.
In addition, the BHC team coordinated with Age+ Strong to put in place continued services for the elderly homeowner, who lives alone and has no family. With many thanks to 311 and our emergency responders, our partners at ESAC and Age+ Strong, the team at the Boston Home Center is absolutely grateful to have this happy ending story to report.
BOSTON HOME CENTER UPCOMING VIRTUAL WORKSHOPSVirtual Homeowners’ Workshop
On September 20 at 6 p.m., the Boston Home Center will host a virtual workshop for homeowners.
Learn about the Boston Home Center’s no interest home repair loans, additional dwelling unit (ADU) loans, and how you can receive grant money of up to $10,000 per unit for removing lead paint from your home.
If you are struggling with your housing payment, learn about our Foreclosure Prevention and Intervention program as well as our Foreclosure Emergency Fund.
On September 27, the Boston Home Center will host a Workshop for individuals interested in buying a home in Boston. This workshop will feature two classes:FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYING PROGRAMS EXPLAINED: 6 – 6:50 P.M.
Learn about all the Boston Home Center’s Homebuying programs, including the ONE + Boston Homebuying Program, the expanded Financial Assistance Program, and the Allston Brighton Homeownership Fund, and Neighborhood Homes Affordable lotteries.HOW TO ASSEMBLE YOUR HOMEBUYING TEAM: 7 – 8 P.M.
Learn about the professionals you should have on your homebuying team, what role each professional plays in the homebuying process, and how these roles differ depending upon the type of home you want to purchase.