More than 175 affordable housing units approved for Roxbury and Dorchester Projects

by Liz Hughes

The Boston Planning & Development Agency gave the green light to two projects that will bring a combined 179 affordable-housing units to Roxbury and Dorchester. 

Roxbury’s Nuba Residences project, located at 400-402 Melnea Cass Ave., will transform what is currently a parking lot into a 100% affordable-housing development with 114 income-restricted residential units, including 67 rentals and 47 marked for homeownership. There will also be live-work units, along with commercial space for retail, a cafe and an artist display/workspace, according to a filing. 

The project will increase open space in the area with a public park on a 47,333 square-foot site owned by the city of Boston and the state. A gateway will connect the Nawn Factory Building to the Roxbury Heritage State Park with the nearby park serving as a space for community events. 

The project will establish a $50,000 community fund to help local nonprofits and a $100,000 entrepreneur fund to support local startups. It will also provide $150,000 toward on-site community services through Operation Pathways.

The BPDA also approved a fully affordable housing development at 554-562 Columbia Road, which will revitalize a historic Dorchester building into housing while adding another building behind it. 

New affordable housing development coming to 554-562 Columbia Road. Photo: Boston Planning & Development Agency

Located in the Upham’s Corner Arts and Innovation District, this project will restore and renovate the historic Fox Hall building by retaining and supporting its existing ground-floor retailers and upgrading the single-room occupancy program on the upper floors of the existing four-story building. A completely income-restricted housing development will be built behind the original building. Once complete, the development will include 65 residential units. 

The project will also bring area improvements including widened sidewalks, new street trees, landscaping and lighting. The project is located near several small restaurants, retail, banks and churches and is within walking distance of the commuter rail and MBTA bus routes.

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