Walsh Announces $26 Million To Create More Affordable Housing

Using the North End’s Knights of Columbus Hall as a backdrop, Mayor Martin Walsh announced $26 million in money to create affordable units not only at the Knights of Columbus but in the North End, East Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan, Mission Hill, Brighton and Roxbury.

The funding recommended funding from the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Neighborhood Housing Trust, and the Community Preservation Fund, to create and preserve 515 units of affordable housing–including the creation of 23 affordable apartments for seniors Knights of Columbus headquarters in the North End.

“As Boston continues to grow, we want to make sure everyone has a place to call home, no matter their income,” said Mayor Walsh. “It’s important now more than ever that we use every tool in our toolbox to build more housing for working families in our City. This announcement is a great example of how we’re building strong partnerships in the housing community to create more affordable housing options across all of our neighborhoods.”

The East Boston Community Development Corporation (CDC) will also take the lead on the Knight of Columbus project in the North End, which received Boston Planning and Development Agency approval in October.

The proposed project involves the adaptive reuse of 41 North Margin St. in the North End. The building is currently used as the headquarters of the Knights of Columbus, a non-profit charitable organization that has been active in the North End for over a century and has occupied the building since the 1960s. According to the CDC the Knights are committed to the North End community, and as their membership has declined in the past decade, they decided that they could serve the community best if they worked to redevelop their headquarters at into affordable housing for seniors.

The lot size is 14,890 square feet and the three-story building is 4,341 square feet. The renovated building would include 23 apartments over five floors. The roof, which is currently pitched, would be squared off, increasing the building height by 2 feet. A new addition to the north side of the building to provide the Knights of Columbus a new, smaller, and more appropriate meeting hall. The first floor would consist of three apartments and 1,515 gross square feet of Knights of Columbus meetings space. The second through fifth floors will include five apartments per floor. The lot size will accommodate 13 parking spaces. The building will undergo a gut renovation including a new HVAC system and elevator.

“Many thanks to Mayor Walsh and to the City of Boston for their ongoing commitment to affordable housing and the needs our seniors,” said President of the East Boston CDC Albert Caldarelli, “As a result of these new funds, the East Boston CDC will be able to create new affordable senior housing at the Grace Apartments in East Boston and in the North End. We look forward to working with the city as these developments get underway.”

According to the city the new funding will create 459 new units and preserve 56 units of housing. As a result of requesting proposals with a focus on creating affordable units, 290 units that will be created or preserved would be restricted to households with low, moderate, and middle income. The majority of these units will be accessible to households with incomes up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), which amounts to $65,000 or less for a family of four. The new units are a combination of homeownership and rental opportunities with some set aside for formerly homeless households, seniors, and artists.

“DND is excited that we were able to fund projects with such deep affordability, ranging from 50 percent of the Area Median Income to homeless individuals and the elderly,” said Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon. “I can’t wait to see these projects completed, and I want to thank the Neighborhood Housing Trust, the Community Preservation Committee, and our partners in the housing community for helping us create more affordable housing in Boston.”  

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