| IN THIS ISSUE:
A Message from Director Evelyn Friedman
The start to this New Year has been busy; between programming an additional $13 million in Federal foreclosure funds, breaking ground at new mixed-use developments, and helping Mayor Menino launch an initiative designed to improve safety measures for neighborhood convenience stores, we’re working hard for Boston’s neighborhoods. Looking ahead to the spring, we’ll be working on implementing the City’s comprehensive plan to significantly reduce homelessness, celebrating new businesses, and working with all of our community partners to ensure that Boston residents respond to the 2010 Census.
|Neighborhood Housing Development
This Old House Celebrates 30th Year with a Return to Show’s Boston Roots
Partners With City, Community Organizations on
Rehab of Roxbury Foreclosure
On January 27, 2010, Mayor Menino joined the cast and crew of PBS home improvement television series This Old House for a final taping for their 30th anniversary showcase of the rehabilitation of a formerly foreclosed home at 42-44 Woodbine Street in Roxbury into two new affordable homeownership units. The home renovation show’s “Roxbury Project” is the result of a partnership between the City of Boston, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation, and YouthBuild Boston, which began last April. The show began to air nationally in January 2010.
Check out the before and after photos of 42-44 Woodbine Street.
Find out when you can catch the This Old House "Roxbury Project" featuring Mayor Menino discussing Boston’s work on foreclosure.
|Groundbreaking at New Jackson Square Project
Mayor, Governor Break Ground for Stores and Housing in Jamaica Plain
The $14.5 million project benefitted from a total City investment of more than $4 million for both the commercial and residential components, including $1.7 million as part of the City’s share of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, leveraging a total $10.5 million in other public and private resources.
|New Mixed-Use Development Underway
On Blue Hill Avenue
City, Local Development Organization Break Ground at Historic Kasanof Bakery Site
Nuestra’s $22 million project will bring 48 new units of affordable housing and 3,650 square feet of commercial space to the neighborhood. Construction on the project is set to be completed in the Fall of 2010. Read More…
|City Announces Details of $30M Plan to Alleviate Family and Individual Homelessness
Ambitious Goals Include Increased Access to Jobs, Services, and Housing Support
On March 5, 2010, Mayor Menino released a detailed plan for how the City will meet its ambitious goals of eliminating long-term individual homelessness and cutting family homelessness by 50%, set forth last spring in the Mayor’s Leading the Way III housing plan. Noting a step in the right direction toward these targets, the Mayor highlighted a 2% decline in the total homeless count from December’s 30th Annual Homeless Census, as well as a decrease in the number of homeless families after four consecutive years of large increases.
Among other things, the report describes a substantial addition to the City’s previous homelessness strategy that focused on minimizing street homelessness through the provision of a robust emergency shelter system. The new plan focuses on efforts to provide permanent housing and other support in addition to shelter. Read more…
Learn more about Boston’s plan to end homelessness.
|The Boston Home Center
City’s Housing Expo Draws Hundreds
Buyers and Owners Flock to Mildred Ave. Community Center to Learn About Resources
On Saturday, February 27, 2010, the Boston Home Center hosted nearly 300 hundred people at a Housing Expo, the City’s latest successful housing resource fair designed to showcase City-sponsored programs and services for potential homebuyers and interested homeowners. The Housing Expo included seminars and information sessions on specific topics led by Boston Home Center staff, ranging from purchasing a foreclosed property to home repair workshops. The main exhibit hall of the Expo offered attendees information about residential properties available for purchase mortgage and prequalification information; foreclosure prevention assistance; homerepair programs; programs specifically designed for seniors, and the 2010 Census.
Be sure to visit the Boston Home Center’s website to learn about future housing resource fairs and other events.
|Boston Receives $13M to Fight Foreclosure
Additional Funding Will Boost City’s Aggressive Neighborhood Stabilization Efforts
On January 15, 2010, Mayor Menino announced that Boston had been awarded $13.6 million in the second round of Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP II) funding, bringing the City’s total state and Federal foreclosure assistance to over $21 million. The funds will assist ongoing foreclosure prevention and reclamation efforts, allowing the City to support responsible redevelopment of up to 275 foreclosed homes in neighborhoods most burdened by bank-owned properties, namely Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Mattapan.
Boston was one of 482 total applicants requesting over $15 billion from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in foreclosure funding. Since passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) nearly one year ago, of which this foreclosure funding is part, the City has received more than $300 million in formula and competitive grants as well as bond allocations. Read more…
Learn how Boston's Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding can benefit you.
Learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Mayor Menino’s Recovery Plan for Boston.
|Office of Business Development
City Cuts Ribbon at New Shops at Riverwood
On March 6, 2010, Mayor Menino joined Finard Properties and community members for a ribbon cutting ceremony at The Shops at Riverwood, a brand new shopping center on River Street in Hyde Park that is now home to a new Sovereign Bank branch and Price Rite supermarket. Several other buildings that are currently under construction are expected to house additional retailers, as well as a community space. All told, the development will generate 300 permanent jobs.
The design of the 100,000-square-foot development incorporates key elements of the historic Bay State Paper Mill site on which it sits, including the rehab of the plant’s original powerhouse and smokestack. The development has also created new and improved access to the nearby Neponset River.
The Shops at Riverwood was one of the original developments to receive a funding commitment from the Boston Invests in Growth loan pool initiative, made available by Mayor Menino through the Department of Neighborhood Development. Although the developer did not end up taking advantage of the loan, the City's commitment to support the project enabled Finard Properties to negotiate a larger financing deal with their existing lender.
Mayor Launches New Convenient Store Safety Initiative
Says City Hopes to Improve Convenience Store Safety through Education, Police Presence, and Store Security Improvements
On February 23, 2010, Mayor Menino announced a new Convenience Store Safety Initiative, through which the City would provide free in-store assessments and resources for security upgrades to convenience store owners all over Boston. In addition, the Mayor said that the Boston Police Department would enhance police presence around convenience stores and launch an informational campaign to educate store owners about effective security practices.
Through the initiative, DND’s Office of Business Development will offer grants of up to $500 per privately owned convenience store to enable the purchase and installation of security cameras, television monitors and DVR recorders.
Since the Mayor’s announcement, representatives from the Office of Business Development and Boston Main Streets have joined the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and the Boston Police Department for trainings on educating store owners, and have begun to canvas neighborhoods to talk with convenience store proprietors. Read more…