Latest Updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing (March 2022)
On Feb. 23, Mayor Wu led a group of volunteers, including U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development officials, City officials, State officials, homelessness services providers, and public health and first responders, in conducting the City of Boston’s 42nd annual homelessness census. The street count is part of the City's comprehensive yearly census of adults, youth, and families in emergency shelters, transitional housing, domestic violence programs, as well as individuals living unsheltered outside. The census helps inform the City of Boston’s policy development and allocation of resources for households experiencing homelessness.
This year, more than 150 volunteers canvassed 45 areas after midnight, covering every city neighborhood, Logan Airport, and the transit and parks systems. Volunteers canvassed their assigned areas, identified those sleeping on the street, and conducted a short survey. The annual homelessness census is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a key component of Boston's $38 million federal grant for housing and services for households experiencing homelessness.
Mayor Wu listens as Assistant Director Jim Greene of Supportive Housing at MOH interviews a homeless Bostonian in the Downtown Crossing.
Mayor Michelle Wu recently announced the creation of GrowBoston: Office of Urban Agriculture. The new office will work to:
- increase food production throughout Boston;
- develop and implement innovative food production strategies;
- provide technical assistance to prospective and existing gardens and farms;
- develop food production resources for gardeners, farmers, and other residents; and
- coordinate with other City departments to expand citywide urban agriculture.
GrowBoston will also contribute to Boston’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change while addressing injustices inherent in the current food system. The new office will secure funding sources to provide resources and technical assistance to neighborhood groups and nonprofits to help them organize, buy, create, manage, and maintain urban farms, food forests, community gardens, and open spaces in Boston’s neighborhoods. As a result of this investment, Boston neighborhoods will receive improvements to and permanent preservation of community food production sites and other open spaces.
GrowBoston Director Shani Fletcher addresses the gathered crowd at Mayor Wu's (pictured left) press conference about her food justice initiatives at the historic Fowler Clark Farm in Mattapan.
Eviction Moratorium Ending on March 31
The Office of Housing Stability (OHS) has been working closely with the housing court, legal advocates, non-profit organizations, tenants, and landlords to prevent pandemic related evictions. In this work, OHS utilizes a suite of resources and protections to help households facing risk of eviction and displacement remain housed.
If a tenant is behind on or struggling to pay rent, they may qualify for rental assistance from the State (deadline April 15) or the City. If they need help paying their mortgage, or other household bills, they might qualify for assistance through the State or the City.
OHS also offers dispute mediation services which may help landlords and tenants reach a resolution with the help of an impartial third party.
Construction for Saige on Fountain (pictured above) has started. This $21.9 million, transit-oriented homeownership development will create 40 new mixed-income affordable homes for first-time homebuyers in the Fountain Hill neighborhood of Roxbury. The development of these new homes is part of Mayor Wu’s initiative to create homeownership opportunities on vacant underutilized land, preferably near existing transit hubs.
This development is the result of a unique collaboration between the neighborhood, the City of Boston, and a private developer. The long-vacant parcel of land, cleared as part of the Washington Park Urban Renewal efforts over 50 years ago, was previously owned by the Fountain Hill Square Condominium Association (FHSCA). FHSCA was determined to sell to a buyer that committed to building ownership housing in the spirit of the urban renewal vision for the neighborhood. Oxbow Urban, having worked before with the City of Boston as part of the Neighborhood Homes Initiative, purchased the land and worked closely with the neighborhood and the Mayor’s Office of Housing to make the vision a reality.
Throughout the development planning, the Tommy’s Rock Neighborhood Association and residents from the Fountain Hill Square Condominium Association worked to agree on a plan that met neighborhood priorities while maintaining financial feasibility. Saige on Fountain utilizes vacant land in addition to strong financial support from the City of Boston and MassHousing to create affordable homeownership opportunities for a range of first time homebuyers.
- Morton Station Village will be a transit-oriented development across the street from the Morton Street Commuter Rail Station in Mattapan (pictured left). Once completed, the project will offer 40 affordable units, including 28 apartments and 12 ownership units. The development will also include the creation of a serenity park in remembrance of the late Steven P. Odom and a community meeting space.
- Dudley Crossing is a combined renovation and new construction project across the street from the Dudley Town Common in Roxbury (pictured right). The project will preserve and create 47 affordable rental units in three mixed-use buildings, which also offer over 3,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.
Across the city, 605 new units were permitted, of which 163 are income restricted.
MOH is Hiring for Multiple Positions
MOH is looking for dedicated individuals who want to join us in our work to make Boston a better, more equitable city. We’re looking for leaders in the housing field, as well as professionals who are passionate about public service.
Take a look below to see what’s available — and forward these job descriptions to people in your circle who should be applying.
Deputy Director for Homeownership Programs, Boston Home Center
The Deputy Director for Homeownership Programs is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the Boston Home Center's Homeownership Programs. Learn more and apply.
Associate Deputy Director, Supportive Housing
The Associate Director is responsible for overall leadership, supervision and project management associated with policy and strategic plans to support the mission of equitably ending homelessness in Boston. This is a senior leadership role that will supervise and manage staff, consultants, and contractors that lead system change, implementation, and efforts related to policy and strategic plans. Learn more and apply.
Assistant Director, Supportive Housing
The Assistant Director is responsible for overall leadership, supervision and project management associated with funding, data and performance to support the mission of equitably ending homelessness in Boston. This is a senior leadership role that will supervise and manage staff, consultants, and contractors, including but not limited to the team responsible for collecting and reporting on all homeless data through the Homeless Management Information Systems in Boston and the unit that manages the Division’s housing and services contracts. Learn more and apply.
Director of Housing Innovation Lab
The Housing Innovation Lab (“iLab”) is a collaboration between the MOH and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM). The iLab draws on the expertise of both MONUM and MOH to explore new ideas and approaches in addressing our city’s housing needs. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Neighborhood Housing Development, the Director is responsible for managing the iLab. Learn more and apply.
Program Manager, GrowBoston
Under the direction of the Director of GrowBoston, the Program Manager is responsible for all appropriate project and program management activities in the GrowBoston office. Learn more and apply.
Housing Development Officer, Supportive Housing
The Housing Development Officer is responsible for managing a variety of supportive housing and homeless programs. This role will manage the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program (HOPWA), including providing administrative and programmatic oversight of all HOPWA-funded contracts, guiding the procurement and monitoring spending of HOPWA funds. Learn more and apply.
Housing Development Officer, Neighborhood Housing Development
The Housing Development Officer is a key member of the Neighborhood Housing Development Division, providing underwriting and project management for affordable housing development projects and program initiatives. Learn more and apply.
Construction Specialist II, Neighborhood Housing Development
The Construction Specialist II is responsible for all construction management and oversight activities and assistance for affordable housing development projects and programs. Individuals with a Massachusetts Unrestricted Construction Supervisor License are encouraged to apply to engage on a wide variety of projects, including but not limited to 1-3 family rehabs, adaptive re-use developments, renovations of existing rental developments and new construction, wood frame, masonry and steel mid-rise and high rise construction. Learn more and apply.
Special Assistant to the Director
The Special Assistant provides administrative services to the chief of housing and other members of the director’s office by performing work of a highly confidential and complex nature. Learn more and apply.
The Procurement Officer is responsible for processing the procurement of contracted services and property dispositions; performing public bid and request for proposals openings; preparing and processing contracts; maintaining systems used to track (1) distribution of procurement documents submitted electronically and at the Bid Counter and (2) status of all contractual transactions processed. Learn more and apply.