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New Mixed-Income Housing Trust Backed By Wu Buys $47M East Boston Portfolio


A $47M, 36-building portfolio sale in East Boston is the latest example of Mayor Michelle Wu's efforts to employ new ideas to ease the city's housing crisis.

Funded by $12M in a mix of federal and local funding, the East Boston Community Development Corp. acquired a 114-unit portfolio in the Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill and Orient Heights neighborhoods and transferred ownership to the state's first Mixed-Income Neighborhood Trust, the Wu administration announced Wednesday.

The MINT model gives control over the portfolio to a local purpose trust while investors still control the economic interest in it. The deal comes with deed covenants that cap rents in the portfolio: 28 units will be restricted for households earning 50% of the area median income, 40 units at 60% AMI, 26 units at 80% AMI, and 20 units at 100% AMI

"This acquisition of over 100 units in East Boston is a great example of what is possible when we use every tool as a City and partner across sectors to make Boston a city for everyone," Wu said in a statement. "I'm grateful to the Mayor's Office of Housing for their leadership and look forward to accelerating our efforts for affordability across our neighborhoods.”

The seller, a joint venture between The Grossman Cos. and Hodara Real Estate Group, bought the 36 buildings in 2014 and 2015 and put the portfolio on the market last year, according to the Banker & Tradesman. All of the properties are accessible to the highway and four Blue Line stations. 

JLL's Kellie Coveney, Jacqueline Meagher, Madeline Joyce and James Burr represented the seller. 

The acquisition was funded with $9M from the American Rescue Plan Act, $2M from the CARES Act and $1M in Inclusionary Development Policy funding from the city. The trust was formed with $8M in private donations, a grant from the Barr Foundation and support from Boston Impact Initiative, the Hyams Foundation, the Boston Foundation, the Eastern Bank Foundation and City Life/Vida Urbana, the city said.

The MINT is the latest investment from Wu to try to solve Boston's affordable housing crisis. Last week, she signed an executive order aimed at streamlining affordable housing approvals.