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.
The Forbes Building Tenants Association is holding a rally on Saturday to stop the possible displacement of more than 150 residents who are mostly low-income seniors and disabled persons. Forbes tenants preparing for the rally + press conference this Saturday!! Forbes = 147 unit bldg at 545 Centre St JP, mostly low-income seniors, persons w disabilities. Owner hasn’t followed thru on renewing subsidy contracts long-term; will expire soon (1/2) #bospoli pic.twitter.com/X4r1X6ZOcw
— MAHT (@MAHT_hudtenants) June 10, 2021
What's at stake is at least 85 apartments of which the association believed were being preserved for low-income renters for at least 20 years in the Forbes Building located at 545 Centre St through the 13A program. Thirty-seven of the units were to be preserved through the state's Mass Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), and 48 apartments through Project Based Vouchers (PBVs) from the Boston Housing Authority (BHA).
Construction recently started on the new Holtzer Park housing development which will include 62 new affordable rental units in Jackson Square. The development is part of the Boston Housing Authority’s (BHA) 125 Amory Street redevelopment. The project is a joint venture between The Community Builders, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), and Urban Edge, which are renovating and preserving 199 public housing units as affordable housing, repurposing BHA offices into 12 new affordable units, and building approximately 133 units of affordable housing and 214 market-rate apartments in three new buildings on adjacent BHA-owned property. Holtzer Park will create 41 affordable units for households whose income is less than $76,740 for a family of four and are supported with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, according to a press release. An additional 21 of units will have project-based vouchers to provide more affordability for households whose income is less than $38,350 for a family of four.
I began my career in housing first working with individuals facing homelessness in California at Sacramento Loaves and Fishes and then as a housing advocate for the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance in Boston. The work showed me that housing is about more than finding a place to live. Stable housing plays a role in creating a solid foundation for improving someone’s health and their ability to receive support for mental health issues, recovery and addiction, and trauma. Reliable housing can also enable connections to transportation, education, and work opportunities. COVID-19 has only made the work of providing housing more difficult and important.
The Holzer Park project on Amory Street is moving forward after the state committed to funding the building that will provide 62 new units of transit-oriented rental housing. Mayor Martin Walsh and the Department of Neighborhood Development made the announcement on July 23, as the project at 125 Amory Street has already received funding from the city. "I am excited that this project, along with several others, received the final amount of funding needed to begin the work to build more homes in our neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh via press release. "This project adds 62 subsidized housing units that will offer more opportunities for low and middle income families to live and work in Boston and further contributes to the goals laid out in our Housing Boston 2030 plan." All of the 62 units will be income-restricted across different income levels.
Centre Street Partners, which is comprised of three local companies -- The Community Builders, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and Urban Edge, have been selected to begin the restoration of the Mildred C. Hailey public housing apartments. In February the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) announced they were seeking a private developer to renovate the Jackson Square apartment complex into a mixed-income community, with a commitment to preserve all of the existing affordable housing units. "In order to meet the housing needs of all of our residents, we must think creatively to preserve our existing affordable housing stock, while developing new housing," said Mayor Martin Walsh via a press release on August 8th. "I am pleased the Centre Street Partners share our goal, and look forward to the improved housing that will be built as part of this partnership." The proposed development will replace five existing, high-rise residential buildings on Centre Street with five new residential mixed-use buildings.
On a sun-flooded morning, hundreds of families from Bromley Heath apartments sat in overflow chairs in a crowded tent to listen as Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Housing Authority William McGonagle renamed the development Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. Joining them was Anna Mae Cole, a friend and comrade in arms for over 60 years and former chair of the Bromley Heath Tenant Management Corporation that Mrs. Hailey (and yes she was always Mrs. Hailey) directed for 40 years. Mrs. Hailey died of cancer at the age of 82 on Nov. 18, 2015 . Walsh remembered her memorial service: "At the end Billy [McGonagle] came up to me and said, "I've never asked you for anything but I'd like to ask you to name Bromley Heath after Mildred Hailey."
The Boston Housing Authority has designated Amory Partners, a joint venture of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp., Urban Edge and The Community Builders, to redevelop 125 Amory St., a 215-unit public housing for elderly and disabled near Jackson Square. In a press release, the Housing Authority said, "Some of the key features and determining factors of the selection include preservation of existing public housing units and generation of up to $3 million in cross subsidy from new mixed income units. The second component is the new connection to the surrounding neighborhood to create a more integrated development. The final design will include a total of 509 units of which 185 will be market rate and 324 workforce/affordable." Amory Partners will add 214 new apartments in satellite buildings on the vacant land of the site around the main building of Amory Apartments.
Obtaining funding for public housing projects is frequently a challenge. "I'm convinced that the funding for public housing as we know it is gone and it's not coming back," Boston Housing Authority director Bill McGonagle told the Bay State Banner in January, noting that the Department of Housing and Urban Development was pushing housing authorities in the direction of public-private partnerships. This is being done at Amory Street Apartments, 125 Amory St., under the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration program authorized by Congress in 2012. Amory Street Apartments has 215 units of mostly studio and one-bedrooms; it opened in April 1973. In 2013, the BHA was one of 68 housing authorities nationwide selected by HUD to participate in RAD. RAD allows housing authorities to form partnerships with private or non-profit developers to leverage public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest in public housing stock according to the HUD announcement.
My name is Thomas Ruffen and I am a Bromley Heath Boston Housing Authority Resident and former Bromley Heath Board of Directors President, I am writing you this formal letter in regards of our property manager being replaced in a distasteful way, without community knowledge or in fact a community meeting. Therefore, our property manager Mr. Angel Lopez in his two and a half year leadership at Bromley Health has been a great success with such Community engagements like Youth & Families programs and participation, as well as violent crime in the Bromley Heath neighborhood declining in a significant way teaming up with organizations like the The Boston Police department E-13 for late night flashlight initiatives and State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez Office for Hot Dog/Family Night's to bring unity and resident resources and a sense of safeness just to name a few of the many great things this Manager has tackled in his short time at Bromley Heath. However, when Mr. Lopez first took over at Bromley Heath there were grave circumstances and obstacles, like the transition from the forty year reign of the Tenant Management Corporation to the Boston Housing Authority, Bromley Heath was pleagued with drugs, violence and management corruption, Mr Lopez came aboard with his many talents and single handedly changed the direction of Bromley Heath in a more positive direction. Boston Housing Authority Department executives has decided to relocate Mr. Lopez to another BHA Housing complex despite the Bromley Heath residents voice and concerns to keep our community safe and thriving. We have come so far at Bromley Heath under the leadership of Property Manager Angel Lopez to fall back to the normal business as usual.