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Boston Selects 17 Affordable Housing Projects To Receive $67M In New Investments

Mayor Michelle Wu at a press conference about new affordable housing investments in the city.

Mayor Michelle Wu is directing more money to affordable housing with new investments in more than a dozen projects. 

Wu announced $67M in funding Thursday from the Mayor's Office of Housing, the Community Preservation Fund and the Neighborhood Trust to create and preserve a total of 802 income-restricted units in eight neighborhoods. 

"We are very grateful to have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to show how much impact happens when you invest in housing across the entire community," Wu said at a press conference. 

The investments will go toward 17 projects in eight communities: Allston, Chinatown, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, Roxbury and South Boston. Of the 802 units being preserved, 160 will be income-restricted for senior citizens.

The development teams behind these projects include Allston Brighton Community Development Corp., Dorchester Bay EDC, DVM Consulting, Pennrose Development, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp., Urban Edge Community Development Corp., 2Life Development, Trinity Financial and Madison Park Community Development Corp. 

The press conference was held at the former Blessed Sacrament Church in Jamaica Plain, one of the projects receiving funding. The Hyde Square Task Force bought the church in 2014 with the goal of revitalizing the property.

The task force is partnering with development firm Pennrose to create 55 mixed-income units and a multipurpose performance center. The development will receive $6.2M in funding.  

Sheila Dillon, director of the Mayor's Office of Housing, said the city permitted 1,300 new affordable units last year, one of the largest totals for the city in recent years.

"It's an amazing number for us, and we've got a chart being drafted right now about what's going to be permitted this year, and we hopefully will see these projects be permitted next year," Dillon said.

Wu also called on the state and the city to help put more investment opportunities in place, including a transfer fee that would "generate the revenue to keep this going permanently in perpetuity for our communities."

The mayor has been pushing other plans forward, including changes to the Inclusionary Development policy and linkage fee increases, a proposal that is being voted on Thursday night by the Boston Planning & Development Agency Board.

"These dollars run out in just a few years, and this is the proof, and the residents who live here soon will be the proof that we need to keep that going," Wu said. "We are standing here to renew our call for sustainable revenue sources to fund our affordable housing."