Latest Updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing: September 8, 2023
CAROL AVENUE APARTMENTS IN BRIGHTON BEGIN REHABILITATION
The Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation (ABCDC)—with the help of $1 million from the Neighborhood Housing Trust—has purchased the Carol Ave. Apartments. This organization has a long history of working with the City to create affordable housing.
The Carol Ave. Apartments was originally a cooperative, established in the 1980s, which had a complicated ownership structure and as a result ran into financial problems. The cooperative prioritized affordability and as such, rents hadn't increased for years, which meant there wasn't enough money saved for future repairs. The purchase of the apartments by ABCDC will allow for the repairs and upgrades necessary for the health and well being of the tenants without risking increased rents or displacement.
Carol Ave. Apartments has 33 rental units. Six units are set aside for homeless individuals, twenty-three units are for people with incomes below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and four units have no income restrictions.
GROWBOSTON PROGRAM WILL BUILD 1,000 RAISED BED GARDENS
GrowBoston, the Office of Urban Agriculture, recently launched their Raised Bed Gardens and Gardening Education Grant Program.
With the assistance of American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding, this program will build 1,000 raised bed gardens over the next three years, and provide gardening education to Boston residents. The program will strengthen and enhance neighborhood food systems, provide new local food sources for low-income households, strengthen community relationships with gardening, and help individuals and families produce more food.
In GrowBoston’s first round of grantee selection, four organizations were chosen to build a total of 300 raised bed gardens. These organizations will focus on different Boston neighborhoods experiencing high rates of food insecurity. The awardees are; The Food Project (Roxbury); Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. (East Boston); Round Table, Inc. (South Boston); and We Grow Microgreens (Hyde Park).
43 HEMENWAY STREET APARTMENTS ACQUIRED TO PRESERVE AFFORDABILITY
Fenway CDC, with the assistance of the Mayor’s Office of Housing, recently acquired 43 Hemenway Street. The acquisition utilized ARPA funding through the Acquisition Opportunity Program.
Through this program, the City protects Boston’s rental housing stock from market forces by finding units with below market rate rents and working with responsible investor-owners to buy occupied, multi-family rental properties to create or preserve the affordability of the units.
The six units at Hemenway Street will continue to be apartments and over time, the rental units will be converted into affordable homeownership units. Once the apartments are converted, three of the six units will be affordable at 80% AMI; and the other three units will be affordable at 100% AMI.
BOSTON HOME CENTER ENHANCES HOMEWORKS PROGRAM
The Boston Home Center's Home Equity Loan Program (HELP) offers an affordable financing option for essential home repairs to City of Boston homeowners.
This program provides zero percent interest deferred loans for condominium and single-family to four-family homeowners. The funds can cover both interior (e.g., kitchens, heating systems) and exterior (e.g., painting, roofing) repairs.
The Boston Home Center has made two significant changes to the Homeworks HELP program in response to rising home repair and construction costs, which were impacting residents’ participation.
First, the Boston Home Center has raised the deferred loan amounts based on property types. The new loan limits are:
- Condos: up to $20,000 (previously $10,000)
- Single-family homes: up to $30,000 (previously $20,000)
- Two-family homes: up to $40,000 (previously $20,000)
- Three and four-family homes: up to $50,000 (previously $30,000)
Also, the Homeworks Program previously required that one-third of the loan funds be used for exterior repairs. Under the new terms, one-third of the loan used for exterior repairs will be forgiven after 10 years if the owner meets all of the criteria.
Eligibility criteria include Boston residency, income limits, current account status, and asset thresholds.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: CONSTRUCTION MONITORING FIRM
MOH is seeking a Construction Monitoring Firm (CMF) to provide on-call monitoring services for various projects, including:
- Additional Dwelling Units (ADU) project, which allows owner occupants of one, two, or three-family homes to add an extra unit on their property.
- Small Condo Association support for common area repairs.
- Green Energy Retrofit program, which aims to assist owners of multifamily housing in reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and enhancing energy efficiency.
- General support for MOH’s Neighborhood Housing Development division (NHD), which is responsible for underwriting affordable housing developments and repairing acquired properties.
The City strongly encourages participation from small, local, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. To promote equal opportunities for these businesses, we also encourage respondents to consider subcontracting goods and services from certified businesses.
Please note that a single firm can apply to deliver the Scope of Work for all project areas or select specific project areas based on their expertise and capacity. We anticipate a one-year contract with the possibility of two renewals, each lasting 12 months.
INCOME-RESTRICTED HOUSING: 211 GREEN STREET
211 Green Street, a brand-new 48 unit apartment building in Jamaica Plain, is now accepting lottery applications.
The building has five income-restricted one-bedroom units and one income-restricted two bedroom unit available to renters earning at or below 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Two of these units are built out for persons with mobility and/or auditory (Deaf or hard of hearing) impairments. Additionally, there is one one-bedroom unit and one two-bedroom unit available to renters earning at or below 70% AMI.
Units feature open-concept layouts with stainless steel appliances, hard-wood flooring and in-unit washer/dryer. The building features a bike storage, a fitness center and a common rooftop terrace.
The project is located near grocery stores, multiple places of worship, parks, school, community centers and libraries. The building is in close proximity to several bus lines, the MBTA Orange Line Station at Green Street as well as the MBTA Orange Line/Commuter Rail Station at Forest Hills.
The deadline to submit a lottery application is September 19, 2023.