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August 2022: Latest Updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing

Read the latest updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing.

SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR 23 INDIVIDUALS CREATED IN ROXBURY

A photo of 123 Crawford Street.

spacerCommonwealth Land Trust (CLT), a local nonprofit developer and manager of permanent supportive housing, was joined by government officials and residents to celebrate the completed renovations at 123 Crawford Street in Roxbury. This residence will become home to 23 of our State’s most vulnerable residents.

This Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building will provide housing to low- and very low-income individuals who benefit most from onsite case management support and a live-in staff person. This combined model helps residents with histories of homelessness, mental health challenges, physical disabilities, HIV/AIDS, substance addiction, and other barriers to traditional housing.

Renovations on the buildings and units included construction of five new units, masonry repairs of building facades, roof and window replacement, accessibility upgrades, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system upgrades.

The renovation was made possible in part by a $1 million Housing Trust Fund (HTF) permanent mortgage loan and $150,275 from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Housing Innovations Fund (HIF) loan, administered jointly with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). The City of Boston, through the Mayor's Office of Housing, provided a $164,528 loan to CLT for this property.


CITY PROVIDES SOLAR PANELS TO NONPROFIT

People sit under tents listening to a speaker at the Mujeres Unidos Avanzado event.

Mujeres Unidos Avanzado (MUA) and Resonant Energy held an event to celebrate their 2021 Partners with NonProfits (PNP) award. The award allowed them to install solar panels on the roof of their building, which will not only power their building but is expected to generate income for MUA’s educational programs for women and immigrants for the next 25 years! 

The PNP program provides funding up to $40,000 for capital improvements, such as handicap accessibility upgrades, building repairs, or other infrastructure renovations, to neighborhood-based nonprofit organizations through a competitive Request for Proposals process. Grants are made possible by the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

PNP has given MUA many grants to support the education center it runs for community education programs on Clayton Street.  At the event, staff from both agencies showered City of Boston staff with compliments about their support of their project.


RENT STABILIZATION LISTENING SESSIONS CONCLUDE

In July, more than 500 participants attended three Public Listening Sessions for residents and other interested parties to candidly discuss a rent stabilization policy for Boston. Sessions were held for targeted stakeholder groups, including property owners, workers, labor union members, and tenants. All sessions were interpreted into American Sign Language, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish. Specific requests for Arabic and Brazilian Portuguese were accommodated for the labor and tenant sessions.

There were many thoughtful comments that were shared from proponents and opponents especially regarding exemptions or other policy standards.

Comments from those Listening Sessions, as well as those received through the online public comment form and received via email, have been compiled and are available on the Rent Stabilization webpage. Members of the public are encouraged to continue submitting comments using the online public comment form to inform the Advisory Committee’s recommendations.


SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS PLANNED WITH ARPA FUNDING

With the City Council passage of the City’s plan for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in July, MOH is actively building out project teams, and setting timelines to advance the Wu administration’s ambitious housing goals. The Plan allocated nearly $205 million for housing initiatives, including:

  • Increasing the number of first-generation homebuyers, particularly BIPOC households;
  • Combating displacement and preserving naturally occurring affordable housing through property acquisition strategies;
  • Utilizing City land assets to create more affordable housing and homeownership opportunities;
  • Creating permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with substance abuse disorders while maintaining low-threshold shelter sites;
  • Providing funding for energy efficiency retrofits for eligible housing units;
  • and piloting a “rapid rehousing” rental assistance plus stabilization services program for individuals exiting the criminal justice system with a history of homelessness.

In addition, MOH has issued a Draft Plan to expend $21.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act Home Investment partnership (HOME-ARP) funding to address homelessness through affordable rental housing development, tenant-based rental assistance, supportive services, and to purchase or develop non-congregate shelter. The comment period will run through August 18th and is being advertised in local newspapers in English, Spanish, and Chinese, as well as on Social Media.


HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IN MATTAPAN

Nearly completed construction of 9 Leston Street and 63 & 65 Violet Street.

The Boston Home Center is offering three brand new homes built in Mattapan through a lottery to income-eligible first-time homebuyers. One free-standing single family is available at 9 Leston Street (left) for $385,000, and there are two attached single family homes at 63 & 65 Violet Street (right) on offer for $290,000 per home.

These are family-sized properties, with three bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, central AC, a fenced-in backyard, an unfinished basement, and off-street parking. Applications for these new homes will be accepted until September 8th.

Income-qualified applicants who earn up to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), or approximately $101,00 for a three person household, will be considered for the homes on Violet Street. Those earning up to 100 percent of AMI, or approximately $126,000 for a three person household, will be considered for the home on Leston Street.

The homes are deed-restricted with owner-occupancy requirements. Lottery winners must be first-time homebuyers who have completed an approved homebuyer education course and meet the minimum household size for the property being offered. There are preferences for Boston residents and for households with at least one person per bedroom.


OFFICE OF HOUSING STABILITY VIRTUAL LEGAL CLINICS

An image of a computer screen with a gavel in the center.

Every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., the Office of Housing Stability hosts a virtual legal clinic for small landlords and tenants.

There are breakout groups where you can speak with attorneys, a landlord mediator, and Office of Housing Stability staff.

Complete our online form to RSVP for this virtual clinics.

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