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Start of Construction at JJ Carroll Apartments in Brighton celebrated

The project will replace 64 aging public housing units with 142 affordable homes for Boston seniors and disabled adults.

Mayor Michelle Wu joined the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), 2Life Communities, local residents, and community partners Thursday morning to celebrate the groundbreaking for the redevelopment of JJ Carroll Apartments in Brighton.

In partnership with 2Life Communities and the BHA, this project will replace an aging 64-unit Boston Housing Authority public housing community and add significant new affordable housing to Brighton. The new JJ Carroll will include 142 modern, affordable homes built to serve and support seniors and residents with disabilities in the community, including 114 deeply affordable units under the Project-Based Section 8 Voucher Program, 27 affordable units through Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and one unit for an on-site manager. The apartments will be connected to 2Life’s existing 763-apartment Brighton community and connect to the campus through an enclosed pedestrian bridge.

“One of our highest priorities is ensuring that Boston’s seniors and disabled residents are able to continue to live and thrive in the city they’ve always known,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This project meets that challenge and more. We are preserving JJ Carroll’s affordability and more than doubling the number of residents who can live here. This is a great day for Boston’s seniors.” 

“This is a win-win for our JJ Carroll residents and for the Brighton neighborhood,” said BHA Administrator Kate Bennett. “For our residents, this project will offer them brand new, modern, quality homes with the same affordability, a wonderful array of services, and a strong and supportive community that is already thriving right next door. For Brighton, this project adds 77 additional affordable units that the neighborhood desperately needs.”

All BHA residents have been temporarily relocated to other BHA or 2Life housing and will be able to return to the newly rebuilt JJ Carroll site when construction is completed.

“2Life is thrilled to develop these beautiful homes that will demonstrate the enormous benefits of integrating housing and health care,” said 2Life Communities CEO, Amy Schectman. “We are also thrilled to welcome new residents to our vibrant Brighton campus.”

The redevelopment effort was made possible with funds and loans from MassHousing, the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wells Fargo, Dorfman Capital, and MassSave.

“MassHousing is excited to be part of this effort by the BHA and 2Life Communities to develop 142 brand new affordable apartment homes for lower-income senior citizens who otherwise may be displaced from housing in the city with expiring affordability,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “2Life is nationally recognized for its innovative and quality approach to housing the Commonwealth’s seniors.”

"I want to thank Mayor Wu, the Boston Housing Authority, our state partners, and everyone involved in the revitalization of the JJ Carroll community," said HUD New England Regional Administrator Juana Matias. "This property meets a critical need by providing affordable housing with services that will enhance the lives of seniors in the Brighton community.  HUD is proud to be part of this amazing collaboration that considered the housing and health needs of residents in addition to promoting efficient and sustainable building practices in every aspect of the design."

The new JJ Carroll will integrate with 2Life’s existing Brighton community, allowing new residents barrier-free access to 2Life’s services and community life. The first floor of the new building will include a new PACE Center (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) operated by Element Care. PACE is a progressive health and social services program that focuses on healthy living, active engagement, and preventative care for low-income older adults, and will serve residents of the 2Life campus as well as older adults in the broader community. 

“The Governor’s Council to Address Aging identified the importance of bringing supportive services and affordable housing together for older adults in Massachusetts to thrive, and today we are seeing that recommendation in action,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “The PACE center will provide tremendous benefits to the residents at JJ Carroll and the entire Brighton community.”

The new JJ Carroll will include fully adaptable spaces that enable residents to remain at home regardless of physical ability. The new buildings will be built to LEED Silver and Passive House standards for sustainability and efficiency, offering improved health, economic and environmental benefits to residents and will minimize the site’s carbon footprint.

The renovation and creation of new housing at the JJ Carroll housing development aligns with the Wu administration’s goal to produce more affordable housing for older Bostonians. In the last five years, 552 new senior units have been completed or are currently in construction in the City of Boston. Of these, 515 or 93% of these units are income-restricted units for individuals 55 and older, with 494 created for low-income individuals making at or below $56,400 or 60% AMI, and 21 were created for moderate-income individuals with income limits at or below $70,750 or 80% AMI. In addition to the effort at JJ Carroll, the Pryde in Hyde Park will start construction soon on 74 new units of income-restricted housing for older LGBTQ residents. The City of Boston has nine more housing developments for older residents in the pipeline that will create another 365 income-restricted units. 

"A PACE Center for JJ Carroll residents with Element Care means an entire team of clinical and social service providers located centrally where seniors already live,” said Joanne Duby, MD, Medical Director of Element Care. “You can truly take care of the whole person."

“Designing with 2Life and the JJ Carroll community was an invaluable process of listening and developing a shared vision for what this project can do to have a lasting positive impact,” said Jonathan Evans from Mass Design Group. “We're heartened by what this model of housing can do to foster community life for its residents and also positively engage the broader community."

2Life Communities recently released a video to discuss the future of the JJ Carroll community

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