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Mayor Walsh Celebrates Grand Opening Of Hong Lok House

October 5, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The $37M renovation and expansion project created 74 new units of affordable housing in Chinatown

BOSTON - Monday, October 5, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center (GBCGAC) and Rogerson Communities to celebrate the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Hong Lok House, a 74-unit affordable rental housing development for seniors in Chinatown.  The more than $37 million renovation and expansion project improved services to the city's low-income senior population with 74 new and preserved apartments as well as a roof deck garden, common area living spaces and an adult day health program staffed by the GBCGAC.  

"The City of Boston is thrilled to open Hong Lok, and we know how important it is to maintain and add to our affordable housing market in the city," said Mayor Marty Walsh. "I thank Rogerson Communities, the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, and all partners involved in this project. Working together, we are helping to keep Boston a diverse city that is open and affordable to everyone who wants to live here."

The GBCGAC serves approximately 1,200 low income seniors daily in Chinatown. The City of Boston and Boston Redevelopment Authority contributed more than $11 million to this development.

The original Hong Lok House contained 28 substandard and outdated HUD Section 202 units, which are covered by a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract. Construction was conducted in two phases to avoid temporary off-site relocation of the existing Chinatown residents.  Existing residents moved into the 33-unit first phase, at which point the existing building was demolished except for the façade, and construction of the 42-unit second phase commenced.         All of the housing units are affordable to households earning at or below 50% of average median income (AMI). The building consists of 38 studio and 37 one-bedroom apartments, including one reserved for the manager's unit. Eight of the units are set-aside for homeless households earning at or below 30% AMI. All units are universally adaptable to elderly occupants and four units are fully handicap accessible.   This project received overwhelming support from the community, local businesses and nonprofit organizations. The development also preserved a portion of Boston's Chinatown community and brought the entire site back to productive use.

Located in the important Liberty Tree Historic District in Chinatown, the old facades of the buildings were preserved, and construction was planned in stages in order to avoid displacing frail elderly residents. Chia-Ming Sze Architects, Inc. designed the new building and  Walsh Brothers was general contractor.

Building features include:

  • 74 new affordable  apartments for low-income elders with an additional unit for a live-in manager
  • An adult day health program for 32 participants daily, a significant increase over the current allowed daily enrollment of 20 participants.
  • Wheelchair and street level accessibility.
  • Private space for medical treatment.
  • Rooftop  "Green roof" and T'ai Chi deck with wheelchair accessibility.
  • A separate senior drop-in center, offering community space, fitness programs and ballroom dancing.

The Hong Lok House meets the U.S. green building council's LEED Silver standard with many energy efficient features, including the "green roof" which will provide essential on-site outdoor space for residents.  The roof will be fully accessible and reached easily via an elevator.  

Total development cost for this project was $37,168,937. This project was made possible in part by a  $11,213,494 investment by the City of Boston and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and $5,714,861 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Another $20,240,582 was leveraged from private equity using Mass Development's issued 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, as well as HUD replacement reserves, private donations and other foundation sources.