Overwhelming Community Support for K of C Affordable Elderly Housing

November 30, 2018
By

Ausonia Council No. 1513, Knights of Columbus, are very thankful for the tremendous community support for their efforts to develop 23 affordable elderly apartments, new council quarters and a community room (available to everyone in the neighborhood) at their building at 41 North Margin Street.

As the project has moved forward, the development team, comprised of the East Boston Community Development Corporation (EBCDC) and Affirmative Investments Inc., along with the Knights have participated in numerous meetings with community groups, neighbors and government agencies to make this much needed affordable housing for our senior residents become a reality.

The community outreach phase of the City’s Article 80 development process culminated at the November meeting of the North End Waterfront Residents Association where the project was enthusiastically supported without a single vote in opposition.  Months    earlier, the development proposal received a great vote of support from the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council. The Boston Planning and Development Agency has already voted to approve the housing complex as well as using linkage housing funds from Boston Properties’ North Station development to subsidize the affordable housing. The City’s Department of Neighborhood Development will also provide housing funds and Mass. Housing and Community Development will issue state tax credits to subsidize the 23 elderly apartments, which will be 100% affordable and guaranteed to remain affordable.

No proposal, regardless of its good intentions and need in the community, happens without lots of assistance.  Grand Knight John Pagliuca said, “the Knights of Columbus wants to acknowledge and express our sincere appreciation to everyone who has helped us thus far”.  From the initial proposal discussions, the Knights have worked with and been encouraged by Mayor Martin Walsh and his administration and our local      officials: Senator Joseph Boncore, Representative Aaron Michlewitz and City Councilor Lydia Edwards.  The local newspapers and internet sites have disseminated information about the project to accurately educate the neighborhood about the development.

Government officials who have played a significant role include:

* Sheila Dillon, Housing Chief/Director of Neighborhood Housing and Development (DND)

* William “Buddy” Christopher, Commissioner, Inspectional Services Department and staff

* Henry Vitale, Executive Director, Boston Water and Sewer Commission and staff

* Maria Lanza, Mayor’s Office

* Christine O’Keefe, DND

* Kelly Shay, DND

* John Campbell, Project Manager, Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA)

* Tim Davis, Housing Policy Manager, BPDA

* Michael Cannizzo, Architect, BPDA

* Mass. Housing and Community Development staff

* Historical Commission staff

Letters of support from many community organizations, abutters, residents and public officials have been extraordinary and growing each day.  A partial list of supporters includes:

 

Senator Joseph Boncore

Representative Aaron Michlewitz

City Councilor Lydia Edwards

City Councilor Michael Flaherty

City Councilor Anissa Esaibi-George

North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council

Nazzaro Community Center

North End Athletic Association

North End/Waterfront Community Health Center

North End Against Drugs

North End Music & Performing Arts Center

St. Mark’s Society

North End Waterfront Residents Association

Regional Review

The final phase of the Article 80 development process will be a Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing at City Hall scheduled for Dec. 11.  Once the project receives a vote from the ZBA, Ausonia will grant a 99-year building/land lease to East Boston Community Development Corporation and Affirmative Investments.  After the development team receives final plan approvals and selects a contractor, the Knights and development team will update the community about the time table and construction schedule.