December 2022: Latest Updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing
WELCOME HOME, BOSTON LAUNCH EVENT
The Mayor has directed $60 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding toward developing income-restricted housing for eligible Boston residents and expanding financial assistance programs that help residents buy a home.
The City will offer 150 parcels of land to developers to build these income-restricted homes. Income-eligible homebuyers will receive grants that will both lower mortgage interest rates and provide up to $50,000 in direct assistance for down payment and closing costs. ARPA funds will also be used to launch a homeownership program for qualified Boston Housing Authority residents.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing will also use these funds for three financial assistance programs that will aid households looking to purchase a home in Boston. The Boston Home Center First-Time Homebuyer program, the Saving Toward Affordable Sustainable Homeownership (STASH) program, and the ONE+Boston program.
CITY OF BOSTON SEES SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN INDIVIDUAL YOUTH HOMELESSNESS
Since the launch of Rising to the Challenge: Boston's Plan to Prevent and End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in 2019, the City of Boston has housed more than 500 homeless youth. This effort has resulted in a 44 percent decline in individual youth homelessness when comparing the number of young people experiencing homelessness on a single night from 2019 to 2022. The City of Boston defines youth experiencing homelessness as unaccompanied individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 years old.
The Rising to the Challenge plan was informed by the voices of 240 community members representing more than 110 public and private organizations across Boston. The community engagement process prioritized young people with lived experience of homelessness in Boston. The plan launched in 2019 to bring attention, resources, and a coordinated strategy to ending homelessness among youth and young adults.
The City of Boston seeks to end youth and young adult homelessness by expanding access to housing and opportunities, including education, meaningful employment, mentorship, and support from adults.
$1.7 MILLION INVESTED TO PRESERVE AFFORDABLE ARTIST WORKSPACES
Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Offices of Arts and Culture, Housing, and Economic Opportunity and Inclusion announced that following an unprecedented financial investment from the City of Boston, Humphreys Street Studios in Dorchester is now majority artist-owned and operated. It was also announced that the vacant backlot of the studio property will become new below market, income-restricted housing.
The acquisition was made possible by funding from nonprofit funders BlueHub Capital and LISC, as well as a $1.7 million investment from the City of Boston utilizing American Rescue Plan, Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), and Housing Boston 2030 funds. The deal secures over three dozen artist workspaces that house over 45 artists and creative small businesses across 26,000 square feet.
NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT WITH 70 INCOME-RESTRICTED UNITS STARTS CONSTRUCTION IN NUBIAN SQUARE
Mayor Wu announced that construction has started on a 74-unit mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented development located at 2147 Washington Street in Nubian Square. The new 99,602 square-foot development project includes rental and homeownership units and a new 2,000 square restaurant space for the Haley House Bakery Café, a shared artist workspace, a public art gallery and courtyard, indoor bike storage racks, and underground parking.
The development will create 62 rental apartments, each with income restrictions ranging from below 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) to below 80 percent of AMI. It will also feature 12 condominiums, with four of them income-restricted below 70 percent of AMI, four units below 100 percent of AMI, and four at market rate.
A bakery and café run by the nonprofit Haley House will be on the first floor. Haley House oversees a food pantry in the South End that helps more than 30 formerly homeless and incarcerated individuals find employment and become self-sufficient.
Since 2005, Haley House Bakery in Nubian Square has served the neighborhood on 12 Dade Street, which is adjacent to the new construction site. The bakery closed earlier this year in anticipation of construction.
This project was made possible in part with funding from the City through contributions from the Neighborhood Housing Trust, the Community Preservation Act, the Inclusionary Development Policy and HOME block grants.
MAYOR ANNOUNCES WINTER WEATHER PREPARATION
As temperatures drop and utility costs are expected to rise, Mayor Wu is reminding residents, small businesses, and local organizations to do the following:
- Opt in to Boston Community Choice Electricity (BCCE). This City-run program gives residents three options for electricity pricing and renewable energy. Even on the most expensive 100 percent renewable option, the average residential customer would save over $70 versus Eversource’s upcoming/winter 2023 Basic Service rate. On the cheapest BCCE plan (20 percent renewable energy currently, 22 percent starting January 2023) the average residential consumer would save nearly $90/month. Individuals interested in learning more should visit Boston.gov/BCCE to opt in, opt up, or opt out at any time.
- Call 911 immediately if you see homeless and vulnerable individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented, or underdressed for the weather.
- Boston's emergency shelters are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and amnesty is in place for those with nonviolent restrictions.