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Congresswoman Pressley helps celebrate groundbreaking of affordable housing in Nubian Square

October 12, 2021

BOSTON – October 12, 2021 –Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA7) joined nonprofits Nuestra Comunidad and Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and funders and supporters to celebrate the groundbreaking of new affordable housing to be built on the former MBTA Bartlett Station Lot D in Nubian Square. The $27 million project, to be named The Kenzi at Bartlett Sation will create 50 units of supportive, affordable housing for older adults, and is part of the five-phase redevelopment of the former bus yard now owned by Nuestra Comunidad and Windale Developers. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony builds on the City of Boston’s commitment to creating more affordable housing, especially for older residents. 

"While we're in the midst of this debate around what is infrastructure, again I affirm that housing is infrastructure and against the backdrop of a national reckoning on racial injustice, housing is a racial justice issue, it is an economic justice issue, and it is a climate justice issue,"said Congresswoman Pressley. "Housing is a fundamental human right and that goes for every member of our community, especially our seniors. Everyone deserves more than shelter, they deserve a home and that’s what they will have here at The Kenzi." 

“I am excited that the next stage of the Bartlett Station development has started, as we break ground for these new affordable rental apartments for older Bostonians right here in Roxbury,” said Mayor Janey. “I am proud that this new housing at Bartlett Station will continue the larger inclusive development that is transforming Nubian Square. I want to thank Nuestra, POAH and all of our partners for helping to realize our vision to turn a contaminated brownfield eyesore into new housing and a commercial hub for this community. Through this part of the development, the City of Boston is committed to working to create and preserve affordable housing to give older residents a safe and affordable place to call home.”

“Our older neighbors in Roxbury have told us they need affordable, comfortable homes in which to age, sustain their health and enjoy their community without fear of displacement, said Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation Executive Director David Price.  “A key to this success in helping Roxbury seniors is the partnerships created for this project, starting with POAH and Nuestra, and also including neighborhood leaders and organizations who have helped guide this visionary senior housing project and other developments at Bartlett Station.”

“The Kenzie at Bartlett Station will help seniors to age in the community with access to services through a unique partnership with the Boston Medical Center, said POAH President and CEO Aaron Gornstein.  We are also proud that the development will achieve the highest levels of energy-efficiency while providing significant contracting opportunities for local minority and women-owned businesses.”

The Kenzi will create 41 affordable one-bedroom units, and 3 affordable two-bedroom apartments. All residents at the new 57,576 square foot building will have 24/7 access to on-site concierge services and a resident service coordinator. Additional wellness services will also be available once construction is complete. The new housing development will serve individuals age 55 or older who have either low or middle-income housing needs. The housing includes 44 units restricted to Bostonians over the age of 55 who earn at or below 80% of the area median income, or $69,000 for a two-person household. The development also includes five units of housing for formerly homeless Bostonians.

The Kenzi project is supported by:

  • $15 million in state and federal housing tax credit investments
  • $4 million from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
  • $1.75 million in Community Preservation Act funding
  • $750,000 from the Neighborhood Housing Trust
  • $700,000 investment by Preservation of Affordable Housing
  • $500,000 from the Boston Medical Center

The construction of these new homes at The Kenzi also aligns with the City of Boston’s housing goals to produce affordable housing for older Bostonians as outlined in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030. The City’s housing plan set a target of creating 2,000 low-income elderly units by 2030 and has produced housing at Hearth at Four Corners, Grace Apartments in East Boston, The Barton Rogers School in Hyde Park, and several other projects.  The City has permitted or constructed 627 new low-income units for older residents. In the past five years, 424 units for older residents have either been completed or are currently in construction, 93 percent of which are income-restricted units. Also, the City has seven more developments in the pipeline that will create 374 more units for older residents. 

The larger Nubian Square site is being redeveloped by Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation and Windale Developers, Inc. and will ultimately create approximately 383 new homes for working families, including 166 homes for purchase, 217 rental apartments, and 30,000 square feet of commercial space. The development project is anticipated to generate approximately 100 retail jobs and 900 construction jobs, with 60 percent of the jobs going to workers of color.