100 low-income units to be renovated

February 3, 2012
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A hundred affordable rental apartments in 14 local buildings are undergoing major renovations this year in two separate, multi-million-dollar projects.

Urban Edge, a Jackson Square-based community development corporation, is now renovating 82 units in 10 buildings in the Brookside, Hyde Square and Egleston Square areas.

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), another CDC, plans a spring renovation for 18 units in four buildings in central JP and Jackson Square.

Both projects aim to increase the energy efficiency of the units, and both use federal HOME funds delivered via the City of Boston. The Urban Edge tenants are staying in place during the work. Some of the JPNDC tenants will have to move out, at least temporarily, according to JPNDC.

Urban Edge will spend $7 million renovating Urban Edge Apartments, a widespread collection of buildings it bought in 1984-1989, according to spokesperson Leroy Stoddard. Addresses include: 1899-1901, 1989-1991, 2014, 2018 and 2020-2030 Columbus Ave.; 130-132 Day St.; 7-9 and 11-13 Dixwell St.; 2-4 Jess St.; 106 and 106R Minden St.; and 60 Seaver St.

Some of the Urban Edge work will include preserving such historic features as masonry and staircases. Other funding sources include the state Department of Housing and Community Development, the Kresge Foundation, National Grid and Boston Private Bank & Trust Company.

The project is part of Urban Edge’s plan to renovate a total of 515 units for better living conditions and energy efficiency over the next two to three years. The CDC completed similar work on 103 units in JP, Roxbury and Dorchester last year.

The JPNDC will spend $2.8 million renovating its Jamaica Plain Scattered Sites units at 3 Buckley St., 106-108 Chestnut Ave., 76-78 Spring Park Ave. and 69 Walden St. They were preserved as affordable housing in 1988 in one of the JPNDC’s earliest projects, according to spokesperson Sally Swenson.

Besides general upgrades and energy efficiency improvements, the work will add a handicapped-accessible unit to the collection. A garage on the Spring Park Avenue property will be demolished to create more open space.

Tenants will be relocated temporarily to “comparable apartments” elsewhere, in other JPNDC properties if possible, Swenson said.