Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation Builds Affordable Housing With MassDevelopment Bond

July 12, 2018


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

Matt Henzy, JPNDC, 617-522-2424 x260

Andrea Goodman, Eastern Bank, 781-598-7847

61 Heath Street Apartments
61 Heath Street Apartments

MassDevelopment has issued a $9.4 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of 61 Heath LLC, which will use bond proceeds to build a 47-unit affordable multifamily rental housing facility at the site of a vacant lot in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. 61 Heath LLC is an affiliate of Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC). JPNDC is collaborating with Back of the Hill CDC on this project through an existing partnership that has already produced 80 affordable homes on nearby streets. The City of Boston provided the land and development funding for the project.

The new facility, known as 61 Heath Street Apartments, will consist of 11 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units, and 14 three-bedroom units. Forty of these units will be rented to households earning no more than 60 percent of area median income, while the remaining seven will be rented to households earning no more than 70 percent of area median income. The facility will include a neighborhood-friendly commercial space and a community room for use by the tenants and by other community members. The apartments will be located at 61 Heath Street, near Jamaica Plain’s border with Mission Hill, and within a half-mile of community resources such as the Southwest Corridor Park, playgrounds, two elementary schools, a community health center, a supermarket and a vibrant commercial district. Eastern Bank purchased the bond.

“MassDevelopment is proud to support Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation in its work to transform underused property into affordable housing for the residents of Boston,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “The development of 61 Heath Street will activate an empty lot nestled between Boston’s growing Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill neighborhoods while adding 47 new units to the city’s affordable housing stock.”

In 2015, MassDevelopment provided a $36,000 loan from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund to JPNDC to help the organization conduct an environmental site assessment of this property. Founded in 1977, JPNDC seeks to promote equitable development and equal opportunity in Jamaica Plain and adjacent neighborhoods through affordable housing, organizing, and economic opportunity initiatives that improve the lives of low- and moderate- income people.  The organization has transformed vacant lots and distressed buildings into 670 affordable homes for families and individuals, created 2,000 jobs, and invested $312 million into Jamaica Plain.

“This project not only means new desperately needed affordable homes for Boston families, but is a big step forward in the revitalization of the entire Jackson Square area. We’re very grateful for MassDevelopment’s critical support,” said Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation Executive Director Richard Thal.

“Eastern Bank is honored to participate in the financing of this project and help support affordable housing options aimed at keeping more Boston-area residents in place,” said Pamela Feingold, Senior Vice President and Director of Community Development Lending at Eastern Bank.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.