Latest Updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing: October 27, 2023
DEVELOPER DESIGNATION FOR WELCOME HOME, BOSTON PHASE I
On October 19, Mayor Wu announced the tentative designation of development teams for Phase I of Welcome Home, Boston.
The chosen teams, including the African Community Economic Development Organization of New England (ACEDONE), Boston Communities, Dorchester Design Collaborative, and Norfolk Design and Construction, are state-certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and/or Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE), or Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) companies known for their commitment to diversity and community support. These teams will develop vacant Dorchester parcels in coordination with the Mayor's Office of Housing, emphasizing local and minority hiring.
The project will create 63 new affordable homes on various streets, in multi-unit condominium structures with homeownership opportunities for households with incomes below 80 and 100 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These environmentally friendly, fully electric buildings align with the City's goals of promoting generational wealth and reducing environmental impact.
SAIGE ON FOUNTAIN CELEBRATES ITS GRAND OPENING WITH 40 AFFORDABLE UNITS FOR HOMEOWNERSHIP
On October 22, the Mayor’s Office of Housing celebrated the Grand Opening of Saige on Fountain in Dorchester. This transit-oriented homeownership development creates 40 new affordable homes for first-time buyers in Roxbury’s Fountain Hill.
Saige on Fountain is the first all-electric, multi-unit ownership development in the City of Boston, underscoring the importance of creating opportunities for generational wealth while also minimizing environmental impact.
MAYOR WU TOURS RECENTLY COMPLETED ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT IN ROXBURY
Mayor Michelle Wu, joined Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon, Age Strong Commissioner Emily Shea, Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison and Fire Commissioner Paul Burke for a tour of a recently completed Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in Roxbury’s Fort Hill.
This ADU was created by the homeowner, Mark Kennedy, for use by his mother who is aging and experiencing some health issues. The contractor from Dorchester's Lower Mills neighborhood was present and eager to answer questions about how the ADU was made to be as accessible as possible to accommodate Mr. Kennedy's mother.
ADUs can provide an affordable housing option, address housing shortages and make efficient use of existing properties. ADUs can potentially generate rental income for homeowners and help them age in place by offering space for family members or caregivers. They often have a smaller environmental footprint compared to larger homes and contribute to more sustainable urban development. Additionally, ADUs can enhance neighborhood diversity and vitality, offering a flexible housing solution that adapts to changing family and community needs.
STONLEY BROOKLEY GROUNDBREAKING
On October 11, Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon joined Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Causeway Development LLC, MassHousing, community partners, and residents to celebrate the start of construction for the Stonley Brookley Homes in Jamaica Plain.
This joint venture between JPNDC and Causeway Development LLC will create 45 affordable income-restricted homeownership units, including five artist live-work studios in a new building at the intersection of Stonley and Brookley Streets. The building will be approximately 38,000 square feet over four stories and will contain 60 bike parking spaces.
GROWBOSTON CELEBRATES 10 OUTDOOR CLASSROOMS AND THE OPENING OF BOSTON GREEN ACADEMY’S RAISED BED GARDEN
Mayor Michelle Wu joined Superintendent Mary Skipper, Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon, and Boston Public Schools (BPS) students and staff to commemorate the launch of 10 new raised bed garden programs in various Boston Public Schools across the City. Additionally, they celebrated the grand opening of a new outdoor classroom at Boston Green Academy.
All the new raised-bed gardens and outdoor classrooms received funding from the GrowBoston: Office of Urban Agriculture.The following schools have been selected for the new school garden programs funded by GrowBoston:
- Mather Elementary School (Dorchester)
- Winship Elementary School (Brighton)
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 School (Dorchester)
- Clap Elementary School (Dorchester)
- Lee Academy (Dorchester)
- Channing Elementary School (Hyde Park)
- Tobin K-8 School (Roxbury)
- Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School (Roxbury)
- Ellison Parks Early Education School (Mattapan)
- Roosevelt K-8 School (Upper Campus) (Hyde Park)
MAGNOLIA GARDENS GRAND OPENING
September 28, GrowBoston celebrated the grand opening of Magnolia Gardens. The Magnolia Gardens project empowers the local community to nurture and expand this green haven, fostering a stronger sense of togetherness and engagement.
In 2016, more than 50 Magnolia Street residents expressed their desire for a community green space. With extensive neighborhood outreach and collaborative meetings, the Magnolia Street Garden came to life as part of a larger vision to enhance Dudley's food system.
This vibrant space isn't just about gardening; one side of it has been carefully designed as a tranquil park for relaxation and contemplation.
JIM GREENE OF THE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING DIVISION WINS A SHATTUCK AWARD
In a city where dedication to public service is a time-honored tradition, we are thrilled to celebrate Jim Greene, the Assistant Director of Street Outreach, for receiving the prestigious Shattuck Award.
The Shattuck Awards recognize everyday heroes of public service who embody the values of integrity, initiative, leadership, and a deep commitment to the public good.
In his 21 years of unwavering service to the City of Boston, Greene has exemplified these qualities. His tireless efforts and patience in working with Boston’s unhoused residents to persuade them to accept the housing and services that are available to them has made a difference in so many lives.
ONE+BOSTON PROGRAM CHANGES
The City of Boston, in partnership with the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA), recently announced an expansion of the ONE+Boston Program.
This strategic initiative is dedicated to increasing homeownership opportunities for income-eligible first-time buyers in Boston. Through the Massachusetts Housing Partnership's ONE Mortgage Program, the program will now offer even more significant interest rate discounts on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loans. Qualified borrowers earning at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) will receive a two-percent interest rate reduction which is twice the original discount of one percent, while those between 80 and 100 percent of AMI will benefit from a one percent reduction which is double the original one-half percent.
RENTAL RELIEF FUND PROGRAM CHANGES
The Office of Housing Stability (OHS) is planning to revamp the Boston Rental Relief Fund (BRRF). OHS anticipates depleting all COVID ERA federal funding by December. As a result, the BRRF application process closed on September 30 with plans to relaunch the program with new guidelines on January 2. The team will work on processing all applications already submitted.
Since its inception in Spring 2020, the BRRF has provided over $45 million to almost 8,000 low-income households to support rent arrears, utilities, stipends, and moving expenses. In Fiscal Year 2023, an additional 2000 households received $9,454,457 in assistance.
Fiscal Year 24 requires a reassessment of the program's approach and guidelines. After extensive community engagement, OHS is in the process of crafting new program guidelines.
WELCOME HOME, BOSTON PHASE II RFP
The City of Boston recently announced the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Welcome Home Boston Phase II.
The RFP invites the public to submit proposals for the development of 26 vacant parcels of land owned by the City of Boston in the Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods, with a specific focus on creating affordable homeownership opportunities.
A primary objective of this initiative is to foster inclusivity by encouraging historically underrepresented development teams, including BIPOC and/or woman-led groups, to actively participate in neighborhood development. The selected development team will be expected to prioritize equity, outreach, and support, ensuring that historically underrepresented residents, firms, and businesses thrive throughout this transformative endeavor.