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.