New units across the City will create rental and homeownership opportunities for Bostonians
Today, Mayor Michelle Wu announced $40 million in new recommended funding from the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT), and the Community Preservation Fund to create and preserve over 700 income-restricted units of housing in Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, Chinatown, Hyde Park, and Roxbury. This ambitious portfolio of projects includes rental housing for families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities, while also creating new homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income Bostonians. These proposed projects comply with the Mayor’s Office of Housing standards for zero-emissions buildings and represent transit-oriented green development.
“Now more than ever, having a safe and stable home is critical for the health of our families and communities. These housing awards represent significant investments in neighborhoods across Boston, making them stronger and more accessible for our residents,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m grateful to the Neighborhood Housing Trust and the Community Preservation Committee for their leadership and partnership with the community.”
In August 2021, the City of Boston released two Requests for Proposals (RFP) offering funds for affordable housing developments. The Mayor’s Office of Housing, then the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Community Preservation Committee, and the Neighborhood Housing Trust evaluated the proposals and prioritized 14 projects. These projects will promote City goals to affirmatively further fair housing, and will efficiently utilize City resources and/or land to increase the supply of housing available to low- and moderate-income households.
Recognizing the role of housing development as a building block to a more just economy. This year’s RFPs prioritized projects that address income inequality and increase representation and financial benefit to Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) professionals and community members. To do this, preference was given to projects where a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) owned 20% or more of the project or received 20% or more of non-construction-related fees. The RFPs also prioritized projects in neighborhoods that do not currently meet the city-wide average of income-restricted housing. Finally, the RFPs required enhanced equity & inclusion planning in terms of both hiring and resident services to support economic stability and growth.
“The City’s award for the combined projects of NUBA Homes and NUBA Apartments will be critical in building a cultural hub of opportunity on the Parcel 8 site in Nubian Square,” said Kamran Zahedi, President of Urbanica, Inc. “Together, these projects will create both rentals led by our development partner the NHP Foundation and homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income households, including specific live and work opportunities for artists. We are also pleased that this development embodies the City’s and our development teams’ shared interest in job creation and wealth-building opportunities for Roxbury residents and homeowners at multiple income ranges, both of which will be realized when these projects are complete.”
“We are very grateful for the City’s partnership on Hamilton at Mount Everett,” said Lisette Le, Executive Director of Vietnamese American Initiative for Development, Inc. “This project will create new homes for older adults with the deep services they need to remain in their community. This award will deliver modern and sustainably-designed apartments where residents can easily access transit and the resources of the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood.”
To ensure that all units receiving City funding will remain affordable, developers are required to agree to long-term affordability for all income-restricted units. All rental projects are permanently deed-restricted, and all homeownership projects are deed-restricted for 50 years. In addition, developers of rental projects are required to set aside at least 10% of their units for homeless households, and projects that offered additional units at lower AMI levels received priority in the evaluation process.
The new funding for income-restricted housing was made possible in part by more than $20 million in municipal and federal funds administered by the Mayor’s Office of Housing. More than $7 million in funds come from the NHT through the City's Linkage policy, which extracts affordable housing funds from developers of large commercial projects. The Community Preservation Committee is recommending more than $14.6 million for the proposed projects. These projects are part of a larger award that includes affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space projects. The final slate of CPA recommended projects will go to the City Council for review and approval in February. The Community Preservation Act (CPA) established a one percent property tax surcharge, which was adopted by Boston voters in 2016.
The following is a complete list of the proposals that are receiving funding from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and NHT, as well as recommended projects for inclusion in the current round for the CPA funding:
To help choose appropriate developments for funding and best achieve the City’s goals for an equitable recovery, the City of Boston established funding priorities that were adhered to while making these awards. Proposals submitted were expected to fall under at least one of the priority criteria:
About the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH)
The Mayor’s Office of Housing is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, creating and preserving affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can obtain, maintain, and remain in safe, stable housing. The department develops and implements the City of Boston’s housing creation and homelessness prevention plans and collaborates with local and national partners to find new solutions and build more housing affordable to all, particularly those with lower incomes. For more information, please visit the MOH website.
About the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund (NHT)
The NHT Fund supports homeownership, rental, cooperative, transitional, and permanent housing developments. The fund provides financing for projects serving households earning at or below 50% AMI and gives preference to populations that face barriers in securing housing, including seniors and people with disabilities. Funding is awarded as gap financing, and each applicant may receive no more than $750,000 per project. Priority is given to projects serving the greatest number of low-income households. The program also has a preference for projects that are near transit, and include family-sized units with two or more bedrooms. Boston's Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund is funded through a commercial project linkage payment fee system.
About the Community Preservation Act (CPA)
After Boston voters adopted the CPA in November 2016, the City created a Community Preservation Fund. This fund is capitalized primarily by a one percent property tax-based surcharge on residential and business property tax bills that began in July 2017. The City uses this revenue to fund initiatives consistent with statewide CPA guidelines: affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space, and public recreation. The funding of any project requires a recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee and appropriation by the City. For more information, please visit the Community Preservation webpage.