City offers help to buy, maintain triple-deckers

The City of Boston’s new “3D Campaign” is offering help to preserve Boston’s iconic triple-decker apartment buildings.

The $3 million program was announced March 24 by Mayor Thomas Menino.

“I am proud that our $3 million investment will give triple-decker owners the support they need to renovate their homes,” said Menino in a press statement.

Triple-deckers are three-unit, three-story apartment buildings, typically with prominent front and rear porches.

The 3D Campaign, presented by the City Department of Neighborhood Development’s (DND) Boston Home Center, will offer up to $30,000 in loans and grants to assist triple-decker owner-occupants with renovations to their homes. The City will also provide up to $20,000 down-payment assistance to income eligible households who want to purchase a triple-decker that they will reside in.

All 3D applicants and members will also receive a no-cost Renew Boston energy assessment and learn more about a range of discounted energy-saving measures and programs.

In addition to the City of Boston’s investment, the banking community has committed up to $74 million in mortgage funding to help homebuyers purchase a triple-decker or to assist triple-decker owner-occupants with renovations to their properties.

Boston’s iconic triple-deckers were built over 125 years ago as an affordable-housing staple for mill workers and immigrants.

With the downturn in the economy, many triple-decker owners have been unable to make critical repairs. In addition, many interested buyers have struggled to secure mortgages to buy triple-deckers. This funding deficit led to many of the triple-deckers in Boston to fall into disrepair. In response to this economic condition, Menino called on City departments and the banking community to launch a new campaign to preserve this important housing stock.  The heart of the 3D Program is membership. To become a member, all that triple-decker owners have to do is go to the 3D website at Participants will receive a membership card that entitles them to discounts at a number of hardware stores across the city. Members will also be entitled to free classes at “3D University,” where owners will learn how to be effective landlords and how to repair their triple-deckers. They will also receive updates about new classes, discounts and contests to promote triple-deckers.

Financing for the 3D program is coming from DND and the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

For other programs aiding homeowners and home-buyers, see the City’s Boston Home Center site at

From press materials.

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