Designed by RODE Architects, Construction Starts on Boston’s Largest Supportive Housing Development in Jamaica Plain

Credit: RODE Architects

BOSTON -Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Governor Charlie BakerThe Community Builders (TCB), a leading nonprofit housing organization, and the Pine Street Inn (PSI), New England’s largest homeless services agency, announced that construction has started on the largest supportive housing development in Boston at 3368 Washington in Jamaica Plain, which once completed, will provide 202 apartments.

This is a major milestone during a time of critical need for increased housing in the City of Boston, especially for those facing the challenges of affordability and stability. The plans for the project were announced in March 2019, and the building is due to be completed in late 2023.

“This project, with units for individuals moving out of homelessness, and wrap-around support services, is a significant step towards ending homelessness in the city,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Once complete, these apartments will represent the largest supportive housing development in the city, delivering stable, affordable homes to those who require it most. I’m thankful to the community and all our partners who helped make this development possible.”

When the new development is complete, it will create 202 units of affordable housing, of which 140 apartments will be reserved for people who are currently experiencing homelessness, and 62 apartments will be income or rent-restricted apartments for families. The property will be managed by TCB, with programs and services for residents provided by TCB’s Community Life team, trained to connect families to healthcare, education, and employment.  Additional supportive services for the 140 units for those moving out of homelessness will be provided by PSI. The Boston Housing Authority will be providing 156 Project-Based Vouchers (PBV) to the development, including all 140 units designated for individuals moving out of homelessness.

“Housing with support services that will help people rebuild their lives is how we will end homelessness,” said Pine Street President and Executive Director Lyndia Downie. “Breaking ground on what will be the largest housing development of its kind in Boston to date, brings us one step closer to reaching the goal of ending homelessness. This could not come at a more critical time, as we grapple with a pandemic and housing crisis in the city. We look forward to housing 140 of Boston’s most vulnerable individuals and providing them with the wraparound services they need to thrive. We are so grateful to the Jamaica Plain community who voiced such strong support for those who will be moving into this building.”

“We are providing rental housing that working families can afford and supportive housing many individuals need, steps away from public transit in the heart of Jamaica Plain,” said Bart Mitchell, president, and CEO of The Community Builders. “We look forward to working with the community and our project partners to make this development a vibrant platform for educational and economic opportunity, where every resident can thrive. We are proud to make this development a model for creating permanent supportive housing at scale, with long-term services and sustainable design. This new approach to affordable housing addresses Boston’s most pressing needs.”

The 3368 Washington Street project received a diverse combination of public, private philanthropic support to finance the building construction, property operations, and resident services.  Major project funders include $7 million of funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; Bank of America is providing over $50 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity and over $60 million in construction financing. Barings/Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is providing over $20 million in permanent loans as well as over $30 million in tax-exempt bridge financing, the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing is providing more than $16 million of funding, including $1.5 million from the Community Preservation Act and $5 million of linkage funding from The HYM Investment Group;  MassDevelopment is providing over $50 million in 4% LIHTC bond financing; the Commonwealth is providing $1.5 million of State Low Income Housing Tax Credits which generate $9.8 million in equity; the Community and Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) is providing $4 million of Housing Innovation Funding and $1 million from its Accelerating Investments in Healthy Communities fund, courtesy of Boston Medical Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The project was funded in part through the Boston’s Way Home Fund, started by the City of Boston to create permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals. The Fund reached its $10 million goal two years ahead of schedule with lead donations from Bank of America, which helped launch the Fund, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), and Suffolk Cares, each of which committed $1 million. In addition to these funds, Pine Street Inn’s overall housing expansion is being supported by a major grant from the Yawkey Foundation.

The development of the five-story building includes demolition of the existing building and new construction of a five-story, approximately 144,000 square foot mixed-use building with first-floor office and warehouse space and residential units on the upper floors.  The project will consist of 202 residential units, with 140 studio supportive housing apartments and 62 family units. A total of 156 units will be subsidized with Project-Based Vouchers awarded through the Boston Housing Authority, consisting of 111 traditional PBV and 45 Mainstream vouchers. Pine Street Inn, Inc. is the Project Sponsor and 51% member of the Managing Member and TCB is the 49% Managing Member. The Owner, Washington Pine LLC, will enter into a long term services contract with Pine Street Inn to provide daily twenty-four hour intensive supportive services at the property for the 140 supportive housing units and Pine Street and the Owner are establishing a supportive service reserve funded with proceeds from the sale of the property, the Boston Way Home Fund, and operating cash flow. Pine Street Inn will also lease approximately 13,000 square feet of office space on the first floor of the building.

The new building will also include 21 mobility impaired units and 18 sensory impaired units, 2 of which will also be mobility impaired units.  The apartments will include 13 studio apartments, 4 one-bedroom apartments, and 1 two-bedroom apartment. Of the mobility and sensory impaired units, there will be 1 three-bedroom mobility-impaired apartment; 13 studio apartments, 2 one-bedroom apartments, and 1 two-bedroom sensory impaired apartments; 2 studio mobility/sensory impaired apartments; and 12 of the 13 mobility and sensory impaired units are supportive housing studios.

The architect for the new development is RODE Architects, a Boston-based design and architecture firm. Cranshaw Construction is the Construction Manager on the project.