Three Jamaica Plain projects are among the 40 recommended by the city to receive more than $24 million in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. The Community Preservation Committee met on Jan. 27 to vote on Mayor Marty Walsh's recommended slate of projects for funding. The Boston City Council will need to approve the use of the funds, and the council is expected to vote in the coming weeks. The three Jamaica Plain projects are:
$1,500,000 to the Pine Street Inn and the Community Builders to build a portion of 202 affordable rental units, including 156 for formerly homeless households, at 3368 Washington Street
$200,000 to the Haffenreffer Brewery complex to restore the roof and windows for a "Prosperity Center" providing small business services, job training, ESL classes, and other programs
$200,000 to the Footlight Club, the country's oldest community theatre, to remediate structural problems and stabilize Eliot Hall, a Greek Revival wood-frame structure built in 1831
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the Community Preservation Committee has proposed building a new playground in the Jackson Square neighborhood. The proposed new playground would cost an estimated $498,000 and be adjacent to the Martha Eliot Health Center, Mildred C. Hailey Apartments and near Jackson Square businesses, according to a city press release. The project was one of 56 across the city, totaling more than $34 million, that would use Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding. The committee voted in support of the 56 projects on Feb. 11, and the Boston City Council is expected to approve the proposals in March.
The Landscape Design Council (LDC) of Massachusetts has recognized Jamaica Plain's Christine Poff, the director of Boston's Community Preservation Committee, as a 2018 awardee for excellence in the field of landscape design. Poff is the 2018 recipient of the Landscape Design Council Award for Excellence, given in recognition of outstanding civic accomplishment. “Throughout her career, Christine has worked in many ways to make life better for citizens,” said LDC chairman George Papavasiliou, via press release. “We particularly applaud her efforts on behalf of Boston’s Franklin Park and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, which stand out as supportive of the Landscape Design Council’s mission.”
As political director of the National Association of Social Workers, Poff advocated for economic and social justice bills at the Massachusetts State House, but she is likely better known for her 14 years’ service as executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition, a nonprofit organization that gives a community voice to Boston’s Franklin Park. She worked to bring back such beloved park institutions as the Elma Lewis Playhouse, the FPC Youth Crew, and the annual Kite and Bike Festival.
Boston is recommending that Community Preservation Act funds be used for 35 projects across the city, including for affordable housing in Jamaica Plain. "The Community Preservation Act is a new tool that will help take our work on affordable housing, historic preservation and open space to the next level," said Mayor Marty Walsh via press release. "I am proud to recommend these important projects for funding approval, which represent a wide range of needs and will build strong neighborhoods throughout our city." The city previously called for applications for projects that require less than $500,00 to begin construction by this fall. The recommended projects were broken into several categories: historic preservation, affordable housing, recreational use and open space, and blended historic preservation/recreational use and open space.
The City of Boston Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is now accepting applications for four open positions on the committee, a nine-member board that recommends projects to the mayor and the Boston City Council for CPA funds. Applications for the committee are available on boston.gov/finance/committee-preservation and must be submitted by Thursday, November 9, 2017. Working closely with the CPC Director, the Committee will study community preservation needs and make recommendations on how CPA funds should be allocated. The funding of any project requires a recommendation from the committee and appropriation by the city. The committee’s annual work includes approving an administrative budget for the Community Preservation program; developing an annual community preservation plan; reviewing project applications and making funding recommendations.