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Mayor Michelle Wu Announces Developers for Phase Two of the Welcome Home, Boston Initiative

Six new development teams will create approximately 70 new homeownership opportunities on 15 City-owned parcels in Dorchester and Mattapan

 

Mayor Michelle Wu today announced that the City of Boston's Public Facilities Commission has tentatively designated the second set of development teams to create approximately 70 homeownership opportunities on 15 City-owned parcels in Dorchester and Mattapan as the second phase of the Welcome Home, Boston initiative begins.

 "Welcome Home, Boston represents a transformative step towards making homeownership more accessible for our residents,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we work to make Boston a home for everyone, I’m thrilled to partner with these six development teams who embody the talent, diversity, and passion of our communities. Their work will help make Boston home for everyone, as we create much-needed home ownership opportunities in our neighborhoods and reshape the industry building them."

In October 2023, Mayor Wu announced the first phase of the Welcome Home Boston Initiative, with the first set of development teams currently creating 72 homeownership opportunities on 12 City-owned parcels in Dorchester. The vacant land from the second set of parcels released through Welcome Home, Boston, has been in the City of Boston's inventory for an average of more than 34 years. This land was identified as underutilized through the Citywide land audit announced by Mayor Wu in January 2022. 

"I am excited by the designation of these six dynamic development teams for the next phase of the Welcome Home, Boston initiative,” said Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon. “These teams will transform underutilized parcels into new affordable homes, as part of our ongoing efforts to provide more homeownership opportunities for Boston residents. The fact that some of these parcels have been in the City's inventory for over 34 years underscores the importance of this initiative in revitalizing our communities and making Boston a more equitable and affordable place to live."

In November 2022, Mayor Wu allocated $60 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to develop income-restricted housing and provide financial assistance programs to help Boston residents purchase homes. The City is making 150 parcels of land available to developers for the construction of income-restricted homeownership opportunities. Additionally, grants will be offered to eligible first-time homebuyers, which include reduced mortgage interest rates and up to $50,000 in direct assistance for down payments and closing costs. Programs such as the Boston Home Center (BHC) First-Time Homebuyer program, the Saving Toward Affordable Sustainable Homeownership (STASH) program, and the ONE+Boston program are part of these initiatives. The funding has also been used to create a homeownership program specifically for qualified Boston Housing Authority residents.

Boston currently has an overall homeownership rate of 35%, considerably lower than the statewide rate of 62%. Homeownership rates in Boston vary significantly by race and ethnicity, with 44% of white households being homeowners, compared to 31% of Black or African American households, 30% of Asian or Pacific Islander households, and 17% of Hispanic/Latinx households. The development of these tentatively designated parcels  and other City-owned parcels will provide opportunities for homeownership in neighborhoods that have high percentages of rental properties.

The six teams selected to develop the second set of parcels are 

  • Ambry Development, 
  • Boston Neighborhood Community Land Trust (BNCLT)/Co-Everything, 
  • Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (CSNDC), 
  • KNG Realty Corporation, 
  • KZ Builders LLC, and 
  • Visionary Investors Building Equity (VIBE)/Mass Construction and Management Inc. (MCMI). 

These development teams are state-certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE), Veteran Business Enterprises (VBE), or represent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). They have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion within their leadership teams. The teams will develop vacant parcels in Dorchester and Mattapan under the guidance of the Mayor's Office of Housing. Each proposal includes a detailed plan to hire local and minority contractors and subcontractors, promoting diversity through the hiring and bidding processes.

The new residences created will be available to families with incomes below 80% and 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Notably, the new buildings will be fully electric multi-unit developments, aligning with the City of Boston's commitment to  minimizing environmental impact. The projects will meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Homes Gold certifiable standard and comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star standards.

“Visionary Investors Building Equity and Mass Construction & Management, Inc would like to thank the City of Boston, Mayor Wu, Mayor’s Office of Housing and the entire team for their investment and commitment to creating more affordable home ownership opportunities,” said F. Marie Morisset, Managing Partner, VIBE. "We are both humbled and incredibly excited to have been designated as one of the development teams for the Welcome Home, Boston Phase II initiative. We can't wait to pass on keys to these new homes!” 

The recent vote by the Public Facilities Commission in April granted tentative designation to the selected development teams, triggering a period during which the developers will collaborate with the City to finalize the design and financial aspects of their plans, undergo the Boston Planning and Development Agency's Article 80 Design Review, and secure project funding. After this period, the Public Facilities Commission will vote to convey the property to the developer, at which point MOH will conclude the sale of the property, paving the way for construction to commence.

About the Mayor’s Office of Housing:

The Mayor’s Office of Housing is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, creating and preserving affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can obtain, maintain, and remain in safe, stable housing. The department develops and implements the City of Boston’s housing creation and homelessness prevention plans and collaborates with local and national partners to find new solutions and build more housing affordable to all, particularly those with lower incomes. For more information, please visit the MOH website.

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