This fall, Jamaica Plain will see 47 new units of affordable housing on a formerly vacant lot at 61 Heath St., in what will be known as the Hattie Kelton Apartments. Developed by the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), along with the Back of the Hill Community Development Corporation, the building is expected to be completed in October, with full occupancy in January of next year.
Located approximately .25 miles from the Jackson Square Orange Line, the Hattie Kelton Apartments are comprised of 11 one bedroom units, 22 two bedroom units, and 14 three bedroom units. The building is mid-construction, and on June 27, the JPNDC held a mid-construction hard hat tour through the building to show people what the different layouts are going to look like. Though there’s a lot of wood right now, the bones of the apartments are in place.
Mark Eclipse, a principal at Prellwitz Chillionski Associates, told residents before they entered the building that there will be about 1,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor of the building that faces the street. He said they have started to talk to a few prospective tenants, but it won’t be a grocery store. It’s more likely to be offices or some sort of service space, he said. The units will also feature porches for residents to sit outside, as well as central heat and air conditioning. Corinne Kelton, granddaughter of Hattie Kelton, was on the hard-hat tour, and Eclipse said that a stone found on the original site will be placed in front of the building in honor of Hattie.
The design and construction of the building is environmentally friendly, meeting LEED and Boston Article 37 standards. There is no PVC in the building aside from a few pipes, Eclipse said. “Manufacturing of PVC releases toxic gases,” he said, so JPNDC wanted this building to stay away from that.
According to the JPNDC, 16 units are reserved for project based rental subsidies (Section 8 and Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program), with household income less than 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Five of the 16 units will be permanently reserved for formerly homeless people or families. Two of the units are reserved for clients of the HUD 811 Project Based Rental Assistance Program, serving non-elderly disabled households with an income of less than 30 percent AMI. Two units will be for clients of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services with a household income of less than 50 percent AMI. Twenty units are compliant with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits program (income less than 60 percent AMI) with no project-based rental subsidy support but some may have “mobile” rental subsidy support. The remaining seven units will be for “moderate income” households with an income of less than 70 percent of the AMI.
The JPNSC wants to let residents know that applications for these units will be available until July 28. Interested individuals should call 617-513-5223, email [email protected], or visit www.live61heath.com for applications and more information.