Jamaica Plain, where you’re lucky to get a two-bedroom apartment for under $2,500, was once a neighborhood where homes were burned for insurance money. It was a neighborhood our state was ready to sacrifice for a highway. So when JPNDC (Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation) was founded in 1977, our priorities were bringing back jobs, turning burned-out lots into homes, and making the neighborhood livable again. Today, we face record wealth and income gaps, dramatically reduced economic mobility, and unaffordable housing. As across the country, lower-income people are on a treadmill, getting by at best rather than building security for their children.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) has issued a call to artists of color for a temporary weeklong pop-up on Centre Street. The deadline to submit is Feb. 19th. The rising costs of housing and commercial space in Boston have led to high levels of displacement among communities of color. In Jamaica Plain, gentrification has affected thousands of people without access to the capital they need to stay in the neighborhood they call home.
Two local development corporations held a groundbreaking on May 31st to celebrate the beginning of construction for an apartment building of 47 affordable units. The 56,290 square foot, 4-story, apartment building at 61 Heath St., is a joint venture by the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) and the Back of the Hill Community Development Corporation (BOTHCDC). “This is the fourth joint project that BOTHCDC and JPNDC have undertaken and we are excited to be bringing new life to part of the neighborhood that has lain fallow for over 40 years,” said JPNDC Executive Director Richard Thal via press release. The apartments are being built on vacant land on the Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill border near Jackson Square, which is adjacent to the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. Through the years the site was occupied by tenement housing, residences and light commercial and industrial uses, including a bakery and a tin shop, said the JPNDC from research using Sanborn Maps.
What if housing were combined with public assets like libraries, municipal buildings and lots, fire stations and other city-owned properties? That was a question the city asked of communities and developers while seeking ideas in January. More than 25 very early stage concepts were submitted with one developer selecting a site in Jamaica Plain. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) submitted two different concepts for the municipal lot at 490-498 Centre St. across from the Curley K-8 School.
The city is holding a meeting to discuss the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation's (JPNDC) proposal to put three parcels together to build eight affordable units at Carolina Avenue and Call Street. JPNDC's proposal is for two 3-story, 4-unit buildings to be built on Call Street at the intersection of Carolina Avenue. Each building would have three 4-bedroom units and one 2-bedroom unit. Four of the units would be sold to homeowners at a maximum of 80% area median income, and four units would be rented at a maximum of 60% area median income. The proposal calls for eight off-street parking spaces, which may be reduced to six due to preliminary discussion with abutters.