BOSTON – Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined the Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID), Trinity Management, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, local and state officials, and Upper Washington residents and commercial tenants to celebrate the grand opening for 35 new apartments, and 3,400 square-feet of retail space on Washington Street in Four Corners.
The more than $15 million project, developed by the VietAID, created 35 affordable new units of rental housing for families earning 60 percent or less of Area Median Income. The construction project also generated more than 180 construction jobs.
“I am proud that the City of Boston’s commitment to this project helped create 35 new homes — homes that will help ensure that the people who help make this neighborhood the thriving, vibrant place it is will be able to stay in their community,” said Mayor Walsh. “Boston is lucky to have this exemplary team of builders, designers, and partners who worked so closely together to create more affordable housing for working people in Dorchester.”
Located in the Four Corners on the site of an abandoned auto-body shop that is within a quarter mile of the new Four Corners/Geneva stop on the Fairmount Line and multiple bus lines, Upper Washington includes two buildings, of three and four stories, on opposite sides of the 322 – 338 block of Washington Street. Both buildings have first floor commercial and community space, with affordable rental units on the upper floors. The project includes five one-bedroom, 21 two-bedroom, and 9 three-bedroom units, all geared toward those earning no more than 60 percent of the area’s median income, with some reserved for families earning or less of AMI.
The project has provided a new home for nine previously homeless families. It also contains over 3,400 square feet of commercial space, and houses the offices of the Four Corners Main Streets organization and a brand new yoga studio, Four Corners Yoga & Wellness. Surface parking is located in the back and underneath the buildings.
“Today, VietAID is pleased to announce the opening of its fifth affordable housing project in Dorchester,” said VietAID Board President Kim T. Thai. “The Four Corners project is a mixed used development with 35 affordable housing units including two vibrant community based commercial spaces. We look forward to delivering benefits to the larger Dorchester community and to create more successful affordable housing developments. We thank our supporters, funders, city, state, and federal agencies in helping us realize our goals.”
Funding for the more than $15 million rental housing development was made possible through a variety of funding sources, including more than $2 million from the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development and the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund. Additionally, the project received Federal and State Tax Credits, and Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development contributed more than $2 million in funding.
In accordance with the City of Boston’s Green Affordable Housing Program, the building utilized several green building design techniques, earning it the distinction of being LEED-Homes Silver certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to move into my beautiful, brand new apartment with my baby,” said Upper Washington resident Dione Teixeira, who also spoke at the event. “My mother and I applied for these apartments, and were both fortunate enough to receive them, so now we are able to live in the same building, making it very easy to support one another. I was also very pleased with the friendliness and professionalism of the staff at Trinity Management who helped us with the application process.”
The Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID) was founded in 1994 by members of the Vietnamese American community in Dorchester, to provide comprehensive economic development programs and services to alleviate poverty and advance civic participation in their neighborhood. Since then, VietAID’s mission and goals have broadened to focus on building strong and vibrant neighborhoods throughout Dorchester by promoting civic engagement and community building; developing affordable housing and commercial space; providing small business technical assistance and micro-enterprise development; offering high quality child care services and after school programs; and developing community youth leadership.