Groundbreaking held for new affordable housing in Nubian Square
Mayor Kim Janey announced the groundbreaking of new affordable housing to be built on the former MBTA Bartlett Station Lot D in Nubian Square. United States Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, the Department of Neighborhood Development, Nuestra Comunidad, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), and partners celebrated the initiative with a groundbreaking Tuesday. The $27 million project, to be named The Kenzi at Bartlett Station, will create 50 units of supportive, affordable housing for older adults and is part of the five-phase redevelopment of the former bus yard now owned by Nuestra Comunidad and Windale Developers. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony builds on the City of Boston’s commitment to creating more affordable housing, especially for older residents.
“I am thrilled that the next stage of the Bartlett Station development has begun. These new affordable rental apartments for older Bostonians will provide much-needed housing in Roxbury,” said Mayor Kim Janey. “This project will build on the larger inclusive development that is transforming Nubian Square. I want to thank Nuestra, POAH, MassHousing, and all of our partners for helping to realize our vision to turn a contaminated brownfield into new housing and a commercial hub for this community. The City of Boston continues to be committed to creating and preserving affordable housing that provides older residents a safe place to call home.”
"While we’re in the midst of this debate around what is infrastructure, again I affirm that housing is infrastructure and against the backdrop of a national reckoning on racial injustice, housing is a racial justice issue, it is an economic justice issue, and it is a climate justice issue," said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. "Housing is a fundamental human right, and that goes for every member of our community, especially our seniors. Everyone deserves more than shelter, they deserve a home, and that’s what they will have here at The Kenzi."
The Kenzi at Bartlett Station will create 50 units of housing for older Bostonians with 41 affordable one-bedroom units, 3 affordable two-bedroom units, and 6 market-rate two-bedroom units. All residents at the new 57,576 square foot building will have 24/7 access to on-site concierge services and a resident service coordinator. Additional wellness services will be available once construction is complete. The new housing development will create 44 new affordable units restricted to Bostonians over the age of 55 who earn at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), or $77,350 for a two-person household. The development’s affordable housing also includes five units of housing for formerly homeless individuals.
“The Kenzie at Bartlett Station will help seniors to age in the community with access to services through a unique partnership with the Boston Medical Center,” said Aaron Gornstein, President and CEO, Preservation of Affordable Housing. “We are also proud that the development will achieve the highest levels of energy-efficiency while providing significant contracting opportunities for local minority and women-owned businesses.”
“Our older neighbors in Roxbury have told us they need affordable, comfortable homes in which to age, sustain their health and enjoy their community without fear of displacement,” said Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation Executive Director David Price. “A key to success in helping Roxbury seniors is the partnerships created for this project, starting with POAH and Nuestra, and also including neighborhood leaders and organizations who have helped guide this visionary senior housing project and other developments at Bartlett Station.”
The construction of these new homes at The Kenzi at Bartlett Station also aligns with the City of Boston’s housing goals to produce more affordable housing for older Bostonians, as outlined in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030. The City’s housing plan set a target of creating 2,000 low-income elderly units by 2030. In the last five years, 552 new senior units have been completed or are currently in construction in the city of Boston. Of these, 515 or 93 percent of these units are income-restricted units for individuals 55 and older, with 494 created for low-income individuals making at or below $56,400 or 60 percent AMI, and 21 were created for moderate-income individuals with income limits at or below $67,700 or 80 percent AMI. Recently, Hearth at Four Corners created 54 new units of supportive, affordable housing for older adults in Dorchester and the Barton Rogers School in Hyde Park is under construction. The City of Boston has nine more housing developments for older residents in the pipeline that will create another 365 income-restricted units.
“The latest phase of Bartlett Station is a major component of the revitalization of the Nubian Square area,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “This a transformative endeavor for Roxbury that will bring new housing and economic opportunities to the neighborhood, and we are pleased to be part of the development and financing team.”
The Nubian Square site is being redeveloped by Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation and Windale Developers, Inc. and will ultimately create approximately 383 new homes for working families, including 166 homes for purchase, 217 rental apartments, and 30,000 square feet of commercial space. The development project is anticipated to generate approximately 100 retail jobs and 900 construction jobs, with 60 percent of the jobs going to workers of color.
The Kenzi at Bartlett Station will employ environmentally friendly design features throughout that meet the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Homes Silver certifiable standard. The development also meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star standards.
The development of the Kenzie at Bartlett Station was made possible in part to funding from $15 million in state and federal housing tax credit investments from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), $4 million from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, $1.5 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, $1.75 million in Community Preservation Act funding, $750,000 from the Neighborhood Housing Trust, $700,000 investment by Preservation of Affordable Housing, and $500,000 from the Boston Medical Center.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT (DND)
The Department of Neighborhood Development is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, developing affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can find, maintain, and stay in their homes. As part of the ongoing coronavirus response, the Office of Housing Stability is administering Boston’s Rental Relief Fund, which has given out more than $20 million to more than 4,000 households and is also conducting tenant’s rights workshops to educate residents about the eviction moratorium and their rights. The Boston Home Center continues to provide down payment assistance to first-time home buyers and home repairs for seniors and low-income residents. The Supportive Housing Division works with various partners around the city to rapidly house individuals who are experiencing homelessness. For more information, please visit the DND website.ABOUT NUESTRA COMUNIDAD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Nuestra Comunidad has been working in the Roxbury community and nearby Boston neighborhoods since 1981. One of Boston’s oldest and most successful community development organizations, Nuestra CDC has developed 800 affordable rental homes and built and sold 200 affordable homes. Nuestra’s Home Center has trained more than 3,000 people in homeownership and helped more than 500 families to purchase their first homes. With roots originally in Roxbury’s Latino community, Nuestra CDC has helped to lead the ongoing revitalization of Nubian Square neighborhood business district and Roxbury’s Blue Hill Avenue corridor. Nuestra Comunidad is a chartered member of the NeighborWorks America Network.ABOUT PRESERVATION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING (POAH)
POAH is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve, create and sustain affordable, healthy homes that support economic security, racial equity, and access to opportunity for all. POAH owns and operates more than 12,000 affordable rental homes in 11 states and the District of Columbia, including 5 housing communities in Boston: Kenmore Abbey (Kenmore Square), Franklin Square House (South End), Blackstone Apartments (West End), Flat Nine at Whittier, a mixed-income, multi-use rental and homeownership community on the site of the former Whittier Street Public Housing and The Loop at Mattapan Station, a mixed-income, transit-oriented housing community under construction in Mattapan Square that is also a collaboration between POAH and Nuestra Comunidad. POAH is celebrating its 20th year anniversary this year.