Residents want affordable housing for Heath St.

Residents told the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) that they support plans for new housing– especially affordable housing—on a group of 10 vacant parcels on Bromley, New Heath and Parker streets.

DND Senior Development Officer for Housing John Feuerbach told the Gazette that residents strongly supported housing, especially affordable housing, and possibly a mix of rental and ownership housing, during the April 30 DND meeting.

“They see that as almost a counterbalance to the developments going in the Heath Street and Mission Hill area,” he said.

The stretch of S. Huntington Avenue between Huntington Avenue and Heath Street has three major housing projects underway, creating several hundred new units of market-rate and luxury housing.

But because many attendees were unclear on what the affordability standards would be for that area, Feuerbach said DND will hold a yet-unscheduled follow-up meeting. It will include precise local data and terminology, including descriptions of proposed housing models like affordable rentals and limited-investment co-ops.

“Then we’ll start looking at site-planning” with rough sketches of possible buildings, Feuerbach said.

The parcels total almost 29,000 square feet and include 9-21 Bromley St., 894-908 Parker St., 58-62 New Heath St. and the parcel listed in property records as “Ward 10, number 02457000.”

The City acquired them through tax foreclosures, Feuerbach said, and is planning their development as the last stage of the 15-year-old Heath Street Planning Initiative.

“Now feels like a good time for that development, with the new mayor bringing a new energy,” Feuerbach said.

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