September 23, 2019
Urban Edge Gets $175K to Redevelop Housing

December 3, 2018 — Urban Edge, a community development nonprofit that aims to strengthen communities and families in the Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, last week today it has been awarded a $175,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation for a multi-year effort to redevelop an apartment complex.

Urban Edge will partner with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and its residents to help the organization with its community engagement efforts around redeveloping the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain, ensuring that residents have a say in how the housing is redesigned.

“Urban Edge is excited to be working with our partners and with the BHA to redevelop the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments,” said Marty Jones, Urban Edge’s interim chief executive officer. “An important part of our work is to ensure that the community has input into the process and this grant will help us and our partners create a design that meets the needs of current residents. We are grateful to the Wells Fargo Foundation for its support.”

In 2017, the BHA selected Centre Street Partners (CSP), a partnership among Urban Edge, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, and The Community Builders, to redevelop a six-acre portion of the Hailey apartments containing 232 apartments.

Over the next year, CSP will create a resident and community-informed site plan as part of Phase I of the redevelopment.

The goals of the redevelopment are to replace distressed and obsolete buildings, preserve affordable housing units, improve health and safety for residents, and provide financial sustainability for the development.

The redevelopment plan includes replacing each of the 232 units with newly-built affordable housing and building approximately 400 additional mixed-income apartments. The redesign will feature a new community center and enhanced access to a nearby health center, shopping center, transit station, and a bike path. CSP will gather input from residents through one-on-one surveying and feedback at regular community meetings throughout the entire process.

Urban Edge is one of 50 nonprofits nationwide o receive a total of $6 million from the Wells Fargo Foundation to support projects, programs, and initiatives focused on neighborhood revitalization and removing barriers to sustainable housing in low- and moderate-income communities.

“Urban Edge shares our focus of strengthening communities through local neighborhood revitalization efforts in support of sustainable housing,” said Briana Curran, vice president of community relations for Wells Fargo in New England. “The impact of each dollar invested through this program will serve as a powerful example of the positive difference that can be achieved with thoughtful public-private collaboration.”

The redevelopment of the Mildred Hailey Apartments is part of the Jackson Square Redevelopment Initiative, a comprehensive, multi-phased venture that is one of the most significant community-driven neighborhood revitalization efforts in the United States. When this 20-year $350 million transformation process is complete, a checkerboard of vacant and underutilized lots near a Massachusetts Bay Train Authority stop will be transformed into more than 1,600 new or renovated units of mixed-income housing, retail space, green space, and state-of-the-art educational/recreational facilities.

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