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Mayor Walsh and HUD Secretary Castro Celebrate Revitalization of Dorchester's Quincy Corridor

July 7, 2015

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

First-in-the-Nation HUD Choice Neighborhood Grant Leads to Significant Community Investment and Improvements

BOSTON - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro, the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC) and the Dorchester community to cut the ribbon on the Quincy Heights housing development. Through the HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Grant, the City, working alongside community partners, re-developed and transformed Quincy Heights, formerly known as the Woodledge/Morrant Bay housing development, into affordable 129 units. Overall, through $20.5 million in total provided by HUD, the Choice Neighborhood Initiative has leveraged another $83.2 million in private and public funds for commercial and residential development and public facilities to revitalize Dorchester's Quincy Corridor. 

"I am proud that together we have created a brighter future for Quincy Corridorresidents, which will include more quality housing, improved educational facilities, new businesses, new jobs and successful community revitalization," said Mayor Walsh. "These redevelopments are proof that great outcomes are possible when stakeholders come together to work towards shared goals for the common good. We are grateful for President Obama's leadership, and for our strong partnership with Secretary Castro and his team at HUD. In addition, our Congressional delegation worked extraordinarily hard to bring us to this day, and, of course, our community partners have been absolutely critical in implementing this grant." 

"HUD's mission of expanding opportunity extends beyond the four walls of a home," said Secretary Castro. "American families need access to safer streets, better school and higher-paying jobs. HUD is committed to working with our local partners to revitalize neighborhoods and to invest in the future of our communities - in Boston and throughout the nation."

In 2011, Boston was one of just five cities nationwide to receive a first-ever HUD Choice Neighborhood Initiative Implementation grant. The $122 million in total grants, also awarded to Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle, are being used to transform high-poverty, distressed neighborhoods into communities with affordable housing, safe streets and access to quality educational opportunities. Boston is the first of these five cities to complete the housing portion of the work. 

The City's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) was the applicant on behalf of the City for the $20.5 million grant from HUD. The grant included:

  • $12.3 million to re-develop and transform the Woodledge/Morrant Bay HUD-assisted scattered site housing development. Renamed Quincy Heights, the project includes the rehabilitation of nine buildings, the demolition of two buildings and 49 newly-constructed units. Now completed and fully occupied,Quincy Heights Housing Development includes a total of 129 units, all of which have project-based Section 8 subsidies.
  • Additional housing creation in the Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan includes 40 new elderly units at the Quincy Commons development and the rehabilitation of Upham's West, which is comprised of nine housing units on Dudley and West Cottage streets.
  • $3.075 million is being used for supportive services for residents of QuincyHeights and the surrounding Quincy corridor. Services include case management, adult education, afterschool programs, youth counseling and other programs geared to schoolchildren, young people and adults. 
  • $3.075 million was set aside for economic development and community improvements, such as community facilities, parks, gardens and the revitalization of Pearl Meats. 

These improvements include:

  • As part of the transformation of Quincy Street area, the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation worked in partnership with CropCircle Kitchen (now Common Wealth Kitchen) to renovate the former Pearl Meat Factory into a 35,000-square-foot, multi-tenant, food production facility, known as the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Small Business Center. The development supports more than 50 food production businesses and has created more than 80 new jobs in its first three years of operation.
  • Enhanced public wireless access in the greater Grove Hall neighborhood. 
  • The playground and open space at the Haynes Early Learning Center has been transformed with new equipment, an outdoor classroom space and open play area.
  • A new playground and school yard at the Martin Luther King K-8 School are currently under construction, and will include new equipment and a new outdoor classroom and playing field.
  • Enhanced assistance to local businesses through the City's ReStore program.

The Quincy Corridor neighborhood is a one-half square mile area centered on QuincyStreet and bounded by Blue Hill Avenue on the west, East and West Cottage Streets on the north, the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line and Columbia Road on the east and Washington Street on the south. The neighborhood is home to approximately 10,000 residents.

The Boston Housing Authority and DND have also collectively submitted a second Choice Neighborhoods application for $30 million to redevelop the Whittier public housing development and to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The application is currently under review at HUD.

HUD created the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative to transform neighborhoods and link housing improvements with appropriate services, schools, public assets, transportation and access to jobs. To meet these goals, the City of Boston tied its application to the City's Circle of Promise Initiative, a community integration plan to transform public education in Boston.