Mayor Michelle Wu announced a city commitment of $50 million in funding for capital improvements at the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain on Jan. 20.
THREAD: Today we joined advocates to sign an executive order reaffirming Boston’s commitment to fair housing & racial equity—and announce the City’s $50 million investment for capital improvements at the Mildred Hailey @BHA_Boston apartments. pic.twitter.com/4laB0LOdNw
— Mayor Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@MayorWu) January 20, 2022
“We plan to make affordable housing a top priority when it comes to putting federal recovery money to use," said Wu at a press conference at the Hailey Apartments. "That means preserving and improving affordable housing that already exists, as well as adding more affordable housing options for residents across the city. This is an investment that builds on generations of work that advocates and tenant leaders have done to improve quality of life for our residents.”
The Boston Housing Authority plans is planning to begin using the funds this year to address plumbing, ventilation, windows, and kitchen and bathroom improvements in 526 public housing units, according to a press release. The improvements will improve air quality, prevent health hazards like mold and mildew, and increase energy efficiency, as well as advance Wu’s commitment to climate action through a Green New Deal agenda.
In the past year, BHA has also brought in a dedicated maintenance crew, a director of quality control, and additional staff to address maintenance issues at the apartments. The BHA also allocated $13 million to make additional capital repairs through the next several years.
Also on Thursday, Wu signed an executive order intended to instill the practice of fair housing and racial equity throughout all levels of city government. The order builds on the work of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Community Advisory Committee, which led a multi-year community engagement process to identify fair housing challenges and priorities and action steps to advance a fair housing agenda in the city. With the order, Wu builds on Boston becoming the first major city to embed fair housing in its zoning code in 2021.
Wu was joined by numerous people including president of the Mildred C. Hailey Tenant Task Force Yolanda Torres, chair of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Community Advisory Committee Lincoln Larmond, District 6 City Councilor Kendra Lara and District 8 City Councilor Kenzie Bok, State Rep. Nika Elugardo, D-15th Suffolk, members of the Hailey community, and more.
“This funding will significantly improve the lives of hundreds of families in a community that truly needs the help,” said Boston Housing Authority Administrator Kate Bennett said.
“I cannot overstate how important this investment is for residents here at Mildred C. Hailey Apartments,” said Torres, who added the investments will make life better for hundreds of residents.
— Joel Wool (@joelwool) January 20, 2022
"An investment in public housing is an investment in the people of our city. For years the tenants at Mildred C. Hailey have fought tirelessly for healthy, safe, and accessible homes,” said Lara.
A plan is already underway for the redevelopment of 253 of the 779 public housing units currently at the Hailey Apartments, with construction expected to begin later this year.