Two Boston housing projects receive $7.5 million in grant funding

by Liz Hughes

MassWorks has awarded $7.5 million in grant money to two housing projects in Boston’s Jamaica Plain and Charlestown neighborhoods.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said these grants will help provide critical funding to develop affordable housing and create local economic development that supports good jobs for Boston residents. 

“This year’s MassWorks awards will help us move forward with providing housing in neighborhoods throughout the city,” Wu said. “Boston’s residents and families deserve safe, clean, quality affordable housing and this funding will help support the renovations and revitalization of thousands of units of deeply affordable housing.”

Mike Kennedy, Massachusetts’ Housing and Economic Development secretary, said the MassWorks program awards will provide critical support for Boston’s plans for major commercial development in Nubian Square, as well as significant investments in mixed-income housing in Charlestown and Jamaica Plain.

“Through partnerships like this one with the city of Boston, we can continue to foster economic growth while ensuring the positive impacts of these investments are felt in all neighborhoods in Boston and across Massachusetts,” Kennedy said. 

The funding will help with the restoration and redevelopment of two Boston Housing Authority complexes in Jamaica Plain and Charlestown. 

Jamaica Plain’s Mildred Hailey Apartments will be replaced with 420 new income-restricted rental units for various income levels. Besides replacing the existing 253 public housing units, the funding will also provide $4 million for street and utility upgrades as well as transportation safety and neighborhood connectivity improvements. These include pedestrian access to MBTA’s Jackson Square Station and Southwest Corridor Park. Current residents will be able to return and live in the new units once the project is complete. The project also includes a new Anna Mae Cole Community Center and Anna Mae Cole Outdoor Plaza. The buildings’ ground floor space will be used for community programming and retail. 

The $3.5 million MassWorks funding will be used to preserve more than 1,000 income-restricted public housing units as part of Charlestown’s Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project. It will fund utility upgrades on-site so the project’s first phase can begin, which includes the demolition of six residential buildings dating back to the 1940s which will be replaced by two new buildings. Replacement housing will be offered to current residents who can return once construction is complete. 

Once complete the multi-phase, mixed-use development will include 15 residential buildings with 2,699 units, 1,010 of which will be deeply affordable, as well as 2.7 acres of public open space, 50,000 square feet of commercial space and a community center.  An additional 100 units will be relocated off-site in Charlestown.

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program is a competitive program offering cities and towns flexible capital spending to support and accelerate housing production and job growth. 

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