January 15, 2013

The Homes at Old Colony

This post is also available in: Spanish

Boston’s Old Colony Public Housing is undergoing a remarkable transformation thanks to a Federal, State and local partnership that is improving the lives of residents in this development and in surrounding neighborhood.  This fall, the Boston Housing Authority broke ground on the second phase of the Old Colony redevelopment project.

First constructed in 1941, the Old Colony public housing site began redevelopment in September 2009. The first phase was developed by Beacon Communities LLC. Together, with the Boston Housing Authority, Beacon Communities designed a redevelopment plan and financing package, including federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding in addition to funding from the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and private equity.

In phase one, distressed buildings along Columbia Road and Old Colony Avenue were demolished. In their place 116 affordable, energy-efficient, LEED-certified rental apartments were constructed. Phase One also includes construction of a 10,000 square foot learning center, named in honor of former Boston City Council President and Old Colony resident, Joseph M. Tierney who passed away in 2009. The space also includes an outdoor play area.

Old Colony will continue its redevelopment as it moves into phase two, thanks to $22 million in funding from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Hope VI Program.

In Phase Two, the remaining buildings between Old Colony Avenue and Reverend Burke Street will be demolished, and 169 new affordable rental units will take their place. The first 129 apartments are expected to be completed in spring 2014, with construction on the remaining apartments to begin soon after.

Both Phase One and Phase Two will be extremely energy-efficient, utilizing advanced green technologies that not only will benefit the environment but will also reduce utility costs for its residents, and advance Boston’s reputation as one of the greenest cities.

Additionally, Phase Two, like Phase One, will create hundreds of new jobs for Old Colony residents and other low-income residents of Boston, as well as women and minority-owned businesses.  Check out this video to see first-hand the transformation of Boston’s Old Colony public housing.

Elizabeth Montaquila is a Public Affairs Assistant in HUD’s Boston Regional Office

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