FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Contact: Noah Frigault, Esq., Director of Special Initiatives, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDER COMMONWEALTH LAND TRUST
COMPLETES RENOVATIONS AT CRAWFORD HOUSE IN DORCHESTER
Will house 23 of Boston’s most vulnerable residents.
Boston, MA — Commonwealth Land Trust (CLT), a local nonprofit developer and manager of permanent supportive housing, was joined by government officials and residents to celebrate completed renovations at Crawford House in Dorchester that will house twenty-three of our State’s most vulnerable residents. Construction was funded with permanent mortgage loans, awarded and administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation.
CLT’s President & CEO, Iva Comey, marked the occasion by saying, “These new units and the renovations in our building are an investment in the neighborhood and a stabilizing resource for our residents. We will serve some of the most disadvantaged community members, and help address the connected crises of affordability, homelessness, and mental health needs.”
Bronia Clifton, Supportive Housing Manager for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), contextualized the project within CLT’s history of work in Massachusetts. “Commonwealth Land Trust’s Crawford Street renovation exemplifies the agency’s long-standing commitment to and expertise in creating permanent supportive housing for vulnerable individuals. DHCD congratulates the staff and the development team on the successful completion of the construction and looks forward to collaborating with CLT on future projects of this kind.”
“The obstacles to obtaining stable, decent housing can be insurmountable for some of our most vulnerable populations in Massachusetts,” said Roger Herzog, Executive Director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). “The availability of Single Room Occupancy units with supportive services is critical to addressing this need, and the renovation of Crawford House by the Commonwealth Land Trust dramatically improves the living environment for residents who have experienced mental health crises, homelessness, addiction and other challenges.”
Jessica Boatright, Deputy Director for the Neighborhood Housing Development Division at the Mayor’s Office of Housing, spoke at the ribbon cutting for Crawford Street and reiterated the importance of affordable housing throughout Boston. “The City applauds CLT’s commitment to providing safe, supportive homes for Bostonians. CLT is a critical partner in Mayor Michelle Wu’s efforts to end homelessness through housing. Our partnership in keeping these units affordable and leveraging an existing asset to create even more affordable homes is a huge win for our city. I look forward to continuing to work with CLT and others who share their important mission to house our most vulnerable by protecting Boston’s affordability.”
Joyce Tavon, Senior Director of Policy & Programs for the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA), praised MHSA’s partnership with CLT and the wider benefit of it to the City. “For over twenty years, CLT has been a valued partner in implementing Pay for Success, Home and Healthy for Good, and other MHSA housing solutions to homelessness. We are excited that this new development gives us both more opportunities to support vulnerable individuals to live in decent, supportive housing in Dorchester and the City as a whole.”
“For the dozens of residents who will live here, this new community in Dorchester will be more than just a new building. It will be home,” Boston Housing Authority Administrator Kate Bennett said. “We live at a time when the very idea of a stable home is out of reach for many Boston residents, and we want to thank Commonwealth Land Trust for working with us to bring these vitally needed homes to the Dorchester neighborhood.”
The 123 Crawford Street project renovated a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building in Roxbury, providing housing to low- and very low-income individuals who benefit most from onsite case management support. This combined model helps residents with histories of homelessness, mental health challenges, physical disabilities, and other barriers to traditional housing. Renovations on the buildings and units included construction of five new units, masonry repairs of building facades, roof and window replacement, accessibility upgrades, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system upgrades.
The renovation was made possible with funding awarded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), consisting of a $1 million Housing Trust Fund (HTF) permanent mortgage loan and $150,275 from Housing Innovations Fund (HIF), administered jointly with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). The City of Boston, through the Mayor’s Office of Housing, previously provided a $164,528 loan to CLT for this property.
Commonwealth Land Trust owns and manages over 400 affordable, supportive housing units. Its robust model – combining supportive services and property management under one roof – keeps residents off the streets and saves lives. The residents of Crawford House receive rental assistance through the Boston Housing Authority, DHCD, or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. CLT will provide onsite case management supports at the property.