Grand Opening of B'Nai B'rith Housing's Parkway 1208 in West Roxbury Celebrated
Mayor Michelle Wu, B’nai B’rith Housing, the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), MassHousing, local elected officials, and West Roxbury residents today celebrated the Grand Opening of Parkway 1208. Parkway 1208 is a new energy-efficient and transit-oriented affordable housing development with 60 new income-restricted apartments for individuals, families, and older Bostonians in West Roxbury.
The acquisition of the land for Parkway 1208 at 1208D VFW Parkway, which facilitated the development, was made possible by the Boston-based non-profit B’nai B’rith Housing. The completion of this project marks the first construction of affordable residences in West Roxbury since 2013. The neighborhood of West Roxbury has 10 percent of its housing stock as income-restricted housing and 38 percent rental compared to the citywide average of 19 percent and 65 percent respectively.
“The Parkway 1208 development is a model for creating income-restricted housing across the City of Boston,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “The Grand Opening for Parkway 1208 shows what’s possible when we collaborate with residents, our partners, and different sectors and levels of government to create much-needed income-restricted housing in our neighborhoods.”
Among these 60 units, 45 are available to households earning less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), including units reserved for low-income households transitioning out of homelessness. An additional 15 units are designated for households earning less than 90 percent of AMI.
"This development, which is the first income-restricted housing created in this neighborhood in years, signifies not only a significant step forward in addressing Boston's housing needs but also a commitment to inclusivity and sustainability,” said Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing. “Parkway 1208 offers affordable homes, modern amenities, and a vibrant community space, ensuring that individuals and families of all backgrounds can thrive and create community in West Roxbury. This achievement underscores our collective determination to make housing accessible and welcoming for all, setting a precedent for the future of affordable housing in our city."
The Parkway 1208 development meets the LEEDS Gold standards and has energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, Energy Star-rated appliances, and environmentally friendly design features including raised garden beds, green spaces with walking paths and bike storage. Situated conveniently near shopping centers and a range of cultural and outdoor amenities, including the nearby Millennium Park and the West Roxbury MBTA Commuter Line commuter rail stop and bus routes, this new development prioritizes walkability and accessibility.
This new community also features an on-site gym, dog washing room, elevator, central air conditioning, an on-site laundry facility, a spacious beautiful community room with a state-of-the-art kitchen and comfortable sitting area on the first floor, and a courtyard with an ADA compliant play structure.
“When the first residents moved into B’nai B’rith Housing’s newest property Parkway 1208, we felt both pride and humility,” Susan Gittelman, Executive Director of B’nai B’rith Housing. “Our team is proud to do our part to address the housing crisis in the Commonwealth. And we are grateful to the many partners who made this new development possible.”
Parkway 1208 was made possible through the crucial financial support of several organizations, including the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, MassHousing, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, MassHousing, Eastern Bank, and Boston Financial, serving as the low-income housing tax credit investor.
“The housing affordability crisis has affected all regions of Massachusetts. Low- and middle-income families in Greater Boston have been especially squeezed by rising rents,” said EOHLC Secretary Ed Augustus Jr. “Parkway 1208 in West Roxbury is an incredible development that will provide 60 new, much-needed income-restricted units for Boston families, seniors, and the city’s workforce. EOHLC was proud to support this project in partnership with Mayor Wu, B’nai B’rith Housing, and MassHousing.”
The new Parkway 1208 development fully embraces the principles of smart growth and transit-oriented development in Boston. Of the $236 million committed by Mayor Wu in ARPA funds for housing $58 million is designated for affordable homeownership development and financial assistance for first-generation homebuyers; $48 million for strategic acquisitions to combat displacement and create deeply affordable homeownership on City-owned land; $20 million for a pioneering pilot program for energy retrofits in triple-decker and other multi-family homes while maintaining affordability; $19 million to develop new permanent supportive housing with specialized services for people with substance use disorder; $20 million to sustain low-threshold shelter sites in response to the intersecting crises of unsheltered homelessness and substance use with co-occurring mental illness; and $32 million for upgrades to Boston Housing Authority properties.
“It is exciting to see the completion of 60 brand new, mixed-income apartment homes where residents will be able to have housing stability and economic opportunity in a neighborhood where affordable rental housing is hard to find,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “B’nai B’rith Housing was focused on creating apartments with multiple bedrooms for families, and MassHousing was pleased to be part of that effort with our public and private-sector partners.”
Mayor Wu previously submitted bills to the Massachusetts Legislature focused on expanding upon the work that Boston has done to address the region's affordable housing crisis and keep families in Boston. She proposed new and strengthening current tools to protect tenants from eviction and unreasonable increases in rent. The legislation submitted seeks to help tenants, particularly older adults, remain in their homes, and create additional funding for affordable housing developments, such as the Parkway 1208. The bills also aim to leverage Boston's prosperity using the transfer fee that will fund affordable homeownership opportunities to create generational wealth for more individuals.