For Immediate Release
March 29, 2014
For More Information Contact:
At a groundbreaking in Mission Hill today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the composition of the Mayor’s Housing Taskforce, which will assist the Walsh Administration in producing its housing plan. Building upon the work of the Mayor’s Transition Team for Housing, the task force will chart a strategic response and operation plan to meet Boston’s housing challenges, including increasing the supply of housing to meet our economic growth, increasing the supply of housing for elderly and low-income households and incentivizing the development community to meet the housing needs of the middle class. Mayor Walsh has charged his panel with having a housing plan launched by June of this year that includes clear targets and firm deadlines.
“Whether young or old, individuals or families, low-income or middle class, all of Boston’s residents need and deserve access to quality housing,” Mayor Walsh said. “That’s why we’ve created the Mayor’s Housing Task Force. We have to bring key community members and experts to the table to find diverse and creative solutions to these challenges.”
The task force will be made up of a diverse group of leaders, including developers from the for-profit and non-profit sectors; academic experts and planning consultants; tenant, neighborhood, and union representatives; and elected officials. By early summer, these leaders will release a plan to guide the City’s housing policy over the next four years. This plan will lay out strategic and measureable goals for meeting all of Boston’s housing challenges, with special areas of focus on innovative housing models; controlling development costs; senior and low-income housing; and incentivizing private developers to meet the needs of the middle class.
Mayor Walsh made the announcement as he joined Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services (MHNHS), local elected officials, and Mission Hill residents to celebrate the groundbreaking for a $15.9M transit-oriented affordable senior rental housing development, Roxbury Crossing Senior Building, located at 30 Gurney Street in Mission Hill. When built, this rental housing development, located on a once-vacant, half-acre site located by the Roxbury Crossing MBTA Station, in the heart of the Mission Hill Commercial District will house 39 low-income seniors in Boston.
“I want to congratulate Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services for breaking ground on Roxbury Crossing. This important development will provide safe and affordable housing for our seniors. Boston has an obligation to house our senior citizens, as they have made Boston the great City that it is,” Mayor Walsh said.
Construction of the Roxbury Crossing Senior Building will generate approximately 45 new construction jobs. All of the rental units will be for people who are 62 years old or older and are earning at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI). The building will have 40 one-bedroom apartments including one manager’s unit, two elevators for accessibility, central air, an on-site laundry facility, and large community space for residents on the ground floor, and a beautiful rear courtyard .
In accordance with the City of Boston’s Green Affordable Housing Program, the design of the four-story, wood-framed building utilizes green building strategies and will meet LEED “Silver” standards. The project also meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star standards.
The City of Boston contributed over $2 million to the development of the Roxbury Crossing Senior Building, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts contributed $2.8 million to the development of this project. The project has also received HUD support of $6.2 million in Section 202 capital funding and $400,000 program funding.
Housing Taskforce Members
Vanessa Calderon-Rosado, CEO, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción
Bart Mitchell, President and CEO, The Community Builders, Inc.
Amy Schectman, President and CEO, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly
John Drew, President and CEO, Action for Boston Community Development
For-Profit Housing Developers
My Lam, Founder/Manager, Escazú Development
John Noone, Vice President New England, Lincoln Properties
Scott Kintner, Vice President, Avalon Bay
Eric Belsky, Managing Director Housing Studies, Harvard University
Tim Davis, Consultant and Senior Research Fellow, University of Massachusetts Boston
Jennifer Raitt, Assistant Director of Land Use Planning & Chief Housing Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Steve Fulton, Rehousing Contractor, Department of Housing and Community Development
Rebecca Koepnick, Director for Neighborhood, The Boston Foundation
Angela Brown, Director of Programs, Hyams Foundation
Housing Member Organizations
Greg Vasil, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Boston Real Estate Board
Joe Kriesberg, President and CEO, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporation
Kathy Brown, Coordinator, Boston Tenant Association
Lydia Lowe, Executive Director, Chinese Progressive Association
Mark Ehrlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, New England Carpenters Union
Brian Doherty, General Agent, Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council
Bob Van Meter, Executive Director, Local Initiative Support Collaborative
Chris Jones, Executive Director, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Rep. Kevin Honan, 17th Suffolk District
Rep. Daniel Cullinane, 12th Suffolk District