For Immediate Release
September 01, 2011
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Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan as HUD announced that Boston is receiving $20.5M to redevelop the Woodledge/Morrant Bay Apartments and revitalize Dorchester’s Quincy Street Corridor.
Boston is one of just five cities nationwide to receive the first-ever Implementation Grants awarded under HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, a new strategic approach intended to help transform high-poverty, distressed neighborhoods into communities with healthy, affordable housing, safe streets, and access to quality educational opportunities. Boston joins Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle to receive a combined $122 million.
“I’m excited to accept this award and honored that Boston is just one of five cities in the country to be able to use this new approach to revitalizing our most important neighborhoods,” Mayor Menino said. “This grant will go beyond just providing new housing for residents; it will provide greater opportunity for young people and their parents by implementing placed-based supports, boosting student achievement and creating avenues for families to reach economic prosperity. I’m committed to ensuring that this grant affords our residents tangible results.”
“This is a great day for Boston and the countless families who will benefit from the transformation this funding will bring to Dorchester and the surrounding community,” said Secretary Donovan. “Choice Neighborhoods recognizes that we must link affordable housing with quality schools, public transportation, good jobs and safe streets. This is the next generation of neighborhood revitalization that not only transforms distressed housing, but heals entire communities.”
The Department of Neighborhood Development submitted a $20.5 million application for Choice Neighborhood funds from HUD. As part of this application, $12.3 million will assist the redevelopment of the distressed Woodledge/Morrant Bay HUD-assisted housing development. Additionally, $3.075 million will be used for community improvements such as community facilities, parks, gardens, economic development, job creation and asset building. The remaining $3.075 million will be used for supportive services for residents of Quincy Heights and the surrounding Quincy Street corridor. In a survey, residents expressed the need for job training, educational courses, after-school programming and financial literacy training.
HUD created the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative to transform neighborhoods and link housing improvements with appropriate services, schools, public assets, transportation and access to jobs. To meet these goals, the City of Boston’s application is part of the City’s Circle of Promise Initiative, a comprehensive community integration plan to transform public education in Boston. It is a strategy to provide greater opportunity for young people and their parents by implementing place-based supports, boosting student achievement and eliminating the cycle of poverty.
The Woodledge/Morrant Bay development is a scattered-site development comprised of 11 buildings clustered around Quincy Street in Dorchester. The project will be carried out in two separate phases. Quincy Heights 1 will consist of the rehabilitation of 102 units in nine buildings, including reconfiguring small units and reducing the number of units by 22. Quincy Height II will consist of the demolition of two buildings and the construction of 49 new units on three adjacent parcels acquired from the City and one parcel acquired privately. Upon completion, the development will have a total of 129 units, all of which will continue to have project-based Section 8 subsidies.
The project is located in the Quincy Street Corridor neighborhood, a ½-square-mile area centered on Quincy Street and bounded by Blue Hill Avenue on the West, East and West Cottage Streets on the North, the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line and Columbia Road on the East and Washington Street on the South. The neighborhood is home to approximately 8,900 people, about 38% of whom have incomes below the poverty line or make less that 30% of the area median income.
Along with the City, the grant application is supported by Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, Project R.I.G.H.T (Rebuild and Improve Grove Hall Together), the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), the Boston School Department and the City’s Office of Jobs and Community Services (JCS). The entire team will work together to implement the Quincy Corridor Transformation Plan.
At the event, Mayor Menino also recognized the support and leadership of Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, and Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch for their role in bringing these resources to Boston.