2Life Communities Celebrates Grand Reopening of J.J. Carroll House in Brighton

0
290

Brighton, MA– 2Life Communities, in partnership with the City of Boston and the Boston
Housing Authority (BHA), celebrated the completion of the newly constructed J.J. Carroll House in Brighton on Monday.

The project, which began construction in October 2021, redeveloped 64 public housing apartments across multiple outdated buildings and created a new, modern and energy-efficient building offering 142 affordable apartments to older adults and persons with disabilities. The apartments are connected to 2Life’s existing 763-apartment Brighton campus.

The redevelopment includes 114 deeply affordable units supported by the Section 8 voucher program, 27 affordable units through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and one unit for an on-site manager. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Ed Augustus, Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh, Boston City Council President Ruthzee Louijeune, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Juana Matias, MassHousing Chief Executive Officer Chrystal Kornegay, Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon, and BHA Administrator Kenzie Bok were all on hand for the celebration.

“I was delighted to celebrate the completion of the newly constructed J.J. Carroll House in Brighton today, a beautiful space that will provide essential housing for our seniors and people with disabilities,” said Warren. “I will keep fighting for funding at the federal level to help grow our housing supply and make building more spaces like this one in Massachusetts easier. It will take continued partnership among the federal, state, and local governments and private investments to meet our housing needs in Massachusetts, but we have the leadership and the will to get it done”

“I was honored to celebrate the completion of the J.J. Carroll House, which will help us address the housing crisis in Boston while ensuring care for our elders is made a priority,” said Pressley. “Families need the peace of mind that their loved ones are being taken care of in a safe and nurturing environment, and this redevelopment will help provide just that. Thank you to the 2Life team and the Boston Housing Authority for their collaboration and delivery on this much-needed project for our elders, folks with disabilities, and communities writ large.”

“Housing is our state’s biggest challenge, and innovative solutions are key to helping solve our housing crisis,” said Driscoll. “This reopening of the J.J. Carroll House shows the impact of public-private partnerships and how we can all work together to bring affordable homes to the people of Massachusetts. We’re grateful for their work bringing new, modern and accessible housing to our state.”

J.J. Carroll House illustrates the power of public-private partnerships to address the region’s growing housing crisis and serves as a model of affordable, service-enriched living. The development integrates healthcare and housing, promotes senior living that is community-based and exceeds sustainability standards, all while providing housing that addresses the two biggest threats to optimal aging: loneliness and economic insecurity.

“One of our highest priorities is ensuring that older Bostonians and disabled residents are able to live and thrive in the city they’ve always called home,” said Wu. “This redevelopment in Brighton preserves J.J. Carroll’s affordability and more than doubles the number of residents deeply rooted in our community. I want to thank all of our partners here today for their work to create needed affordable housing across our region.”

In 2019, the BHA selected 2Life to redevelop the J.J. Carroll Apartments, following a competitive process. Since the designation, 2Life worked closely with J.J. Carroll residents and BHA on a plan to replace the existing buildings with a new building that is more comfortable, energy efficient and accessible, including universal design and adaptability features that enable residents to stay in their apartments even as their physical needs
change.

“MassHousing was thrilled to help support 2Life Communities and the Boston Housing Authority deliver these new, deeply affordable homes,” said Kornegay. “The new J.J. Carroll House will provide healthy, supportive, service-rich homes to seniors, while incorporating advanced clean energy building technologies. It is a showcase for mission-driven housing development.”

“It is fitting that we celebrate the completion of the JJ Carroll House today. 2 Life, in partnership with the Boston Housing Authority and its residents, has collaboratively forged a community that offers affordable housing, essential services, and vital connections to the wider community,” stated Dillon, Chief of Housing. “Many of Boston’s older residents want to remain in the city, yet the waitlists for existing senior developments are long.
This new development will provide a home for 142 senior households, enabling them to not only live but thrive and actively contribute to this vibrant neighborhood of Boston. Congratulations to all involved.”

“Together, 2Life Communities and BHA and our residents came up with an incredible vision for the future of the JJ Carroll community, and today that vision is realized,” said Bok. “This project fully integrates JJ Carroll into the neighboring 2Life Communities Brighton campus, giving our residents access to a host of programs and supportive services as well as new, efficient, high quality homes that will significantly improve their health and quality of life. It will also more than double the number of units at JJ Carroll, adding critical housing for
Brighton’s seniors. This is an example of what we want to do all over Boston: provide more housing to anchor residents in our neighborhoods and allow them to age in place.”

All the apartments at J.J. Carroll are affordable to households up to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) with Section 8 project-based vouchers subsidizing 114 apartments so that eligible residents pay only 30 percent of their income toward rent — making it affordable to even those with extremely low incomes. A significant number of residents are formerly unhoused individuals.

“Intentionality is baked into every facet of this project, from its thoughtful design approach to the innovative way we’ve integrated housing and healthcare to the best-in-class sustainability efforts,” said Amy Schectman, 2Life’s Saul and Gitta Kurlat Chief Executive Officer. “The partnerships with the Boston Housing Authority and Element Care allow us to provide the path to optimal aging via aging in community.”

J.J. Carroll House includes a Program of All-Inclusive Care (PACE) center, operated by Element Care, a testament to the role that integrated housing and healthcare plays in successfully supporting aging adults. This comprehensive health and wellness program allows low-income seniors with advanced healthcare needs to receive comprehensive, coordinated care at home and in community.

“The ability to put a PACE center within the J.J. Carroll housing complex significantly enhances our ability to promote health and wellness and lessen the onset of new diseases,” said Element Care CEO Robert D. Wakefield, Jr. “Together with 2Life Communities we are able to address all social determinants of health,”

J.J. Carrol is 2Life’s first Passive House building and, when certified, will be the largest multifamily Passive House in Massachusetts and in the top 10 in the United States and Canada. Core elements include an airtight building envelope, high-quality windows and doors, solar energy and high-performing ventilation systems to improve indoor air quality and comfort.

J.J. Carroll features ample community space along with amenities including fitness centers, art space, a unisex hair salon, a resident-run resale shop and outdoor space including a community gathering plaza on Chestnut Hill Avenue. The building has a connective corridor that allows residents to easily access all of 2Life’s Brighton Campus.

“J.J. Carroll demonstrates what it means to ‘age in community,’ with the building designed to promote healthy interaction and activity, linked to living better and longer lives,” said Jonathan Evans, principal and project architect at MASS Design Group. “We are heartened to be part of the team working to create affordable housing communities. 2Life and its partners are setting national standards on how dignified housing can meet the needs of residents while providing neighborhood resources, and we have advanced our own practice based on what we have learned with them.”

Resident Ms. Beverly Gilbert, who had been trying to become a “2Life Girl” since 2018, expressed her gratitude. “Now, at 71 years young and happily settled here at 2Life, I am ready to live,” she said. “I am already meeting new people, am moving around more, and am starting to find new ways to help my community. If 70 is when you start living and being more active, then bring it.”

The total cost for the redevelopment is approximately $88.3 million, funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Preservation Fund, MassHousing, Wells Fargo Bank, Dorfman Capital, Mass Save, and the George B. Henderson Foundation. Dellbrook︳JKS served as the general contractor.

“HUD is proud to join our partners in making this innovative and critically important public housing redevelopment possible,” said Matias. “This project ensures the continued availability of affordable units for seniors in Boston, provides residents with a strong sense of care and community, and stands as a shining example of how the public and private sectors can work together to preserve, improve and expand public housing.”

Advertisement