Mayor Wu, the Boston Housing Authority and 2Life Communities celebrate the start of construction of JJ Carroll Apartments in Brighton

Project to replace 64 aging public housing units with 142 affordable housing units for Boston seniors and adults with disabilities

Mayor Michelle Wu joined the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), 2Life Communities, local residents and community partners on Thursday morning to celebrate the groundbreaking redevelopment of JJ Carroll Apartments in Brighton.

In partnership with 2Life Communities and the BHA, this project will replace an aging 64-unit Boston Housing Authority public housing community and add significant new affordable housing to Brighton. The new JJ Carroll will feature 142 modern, affordable homes built to serve and support seniors and residents with disabilities in the community, including 114 highly affordable units through the project-based Section 8 voucher program, 27 affordable units through low-income housing tax credits, and a unit for an on-site manager. The apartments will be linked to Brighton’s existing community of 763 2Life apartments and connect to campus via an enclosed pedestrian bridge.

“One of our top priorities is to ensure that Boston’s seniors and residents with disabilities can continue to live and thrive in the city they have always known,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This project addresses that challenge and more. We are preserving the affordability of JJ Carroll and more than doubling the number of residents who can live here. It’s a big day for Boston seniors.

“It’s a win-win situation for our residents of JJ Carroll and for the Brighton area,” said BHA Administrator Kate Bennett. “For our residents, this project will provide them with new, modern, quality homes with the same affordability, a wonderful array of services, and a strong, supportive community that is already thriving right next door. For Brighton, this project adds 77 more desperately needed affordable homes.

All BHA residents have been temporarily relocated to other BHA or 2Life housing and will be able to return to the newly reconstructed JJ Carroll site once construction is complete.

“2Life is excited to develop these beautiful homes that will demonstrate the tremendous benefits of integrating housing and healthcare,” said Amy Schectman, CEO of 2Life Communities. “We are also delighted to welcome new residents to our vibrant Brighton campus.”

The redevelopment effort was made possible by funds and loans from MassHousing, the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wells Fargo, Dorfman Capital and MassSave.

“MassHousing is thrilled to be part of this effort by BHA and 2Life Communities to develop 142 new affordable apartments for low-income seniors who might otherwise be displaced from their city homes with expiring affordability,” said declared Chrystal Kornegay, Executive Director of MassHousing. “2Life is nationally recognized for its innovative and quality approach to housing for older people in the Commonwealth.”

“I want to thank Mayor Wu, the Boston Housing Authority, our state partners, and everyone involved in revitalizing the JJ Carroll community,” said Juana Matias, HUD New England Regional Administrator. “This property fills a critical need by providing affordable housing with services that will improve the lives of older people in the Brighton community. HUD is proud to be part of this incredible collaboration which has taken into account the housing needs and health of residents in addition to promoting efficient services and sustainable building practices in all aspects of design.”

The new JJ Carroll will integrate into the existing 2Life community in Brighton, allowing new residents barrier-free access to 2Life services and community life. The first floor of the new building will include a new PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) center operated by Element Care. PACE is a progressive health and social services program that emphasizes healthy living, active engagement, and preventative care for low-income seniors, and will serve 2Life campus residents as well as seniors from the community at large.

“The Governor’s Council on Aging identified the importance of bringing together supportive services and affordable housing so Massachusetts seniors can thrive, and today we see that recommendation in action,” said Marylou Sudders, Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services. “The PACE center will bring enormous benefits to the residents of JJ Carroll and the wider Brighton community.”

The new JJ Carroll will feature fully adaptable spaces that will allow residents to stay in their homes regardless of physical ability. The new buildings will be built to LEED Silver and Passive House standards for sustainability and efficiency, providing improved health, economic and environmental benefits to residents and minimizing the site’s carbon footprint.

The renovation and creation of new housing in the JJ Carroll subdivision aligns with the Wu administration’s goal of producing more affordable housing for older Bostonians. Over the past five years, 552 new senior citizen units have been completed or are currently under construction in the City of Boston. Of these, 515 or 93% of these units are limited-income units for people 55 and older, with 494 created for low-income people earning at least $56,400 or 60% AMI, and 21 have were created for moderate income individuals with income limits at or below $70,750 or 80% AMI. In addition to JJ Carroll’s effort, the Pryde in Hyde Park will soon begin construction of 74 new low-income housing units for elderly LGBTQ residents. The City of Boston has nine other housing developments for senior residents in the pipeline that will create another 365 low-income units.

“A PACE center for JJ Carroll residents with Element Care means an entire team of clinical and social service providers centrally located where seniors already live,” said Joanne Duby, MD, Medical Director of Element Care. “You can really take care of the whole person.”

“Designing with 2Life and the JJ Carroll community has been an invaluable process of listening and developing a shared vision of what this project can do to have a lasting positive impact,” said Jonathan Evans of Mass Design Group. “We are encouraged by what this housing model can do to foster community living for its residents and also positively engage the wider community.”

2Life Communities recently published a video to discuss the future of the JJ Carroll community

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