More than five decades after countless Jamaica Plain families lost their homes to make way for an eight-lane highway, some of those parcels are at last back in the hands of low- and moderate-income homeowners.
In August 2021, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) completed construction on its Call Carolina project, eight condominiums affordable to buyers earning below 80 or 100 percent of Area Median Income. The units are selling for between $ 288,700 and $366,900 in a neighborhood where recent condominium sales prices have exceeded $1 million.
“We are thrilled to welcome eight families to our community who would not otherwise be able to put down roots here,” said JPNDC CEO Teronda Ellis. “Affordable homeownership allows people to put their former rent money into equity. It helps keep Jamaica Plain a place where all people have the opportunity to prosper.”
A ceremony to celebrate the project’s completion will be held on Saturday, October 23. Mayor Kim Janey will join, JPNDC, officials from the Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the City of Boston, and other public agencies, neighbors, and housing activists at 73A Call Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 at 11 AM.
The homes at 139 Carolina Avenue and 71-79 Call Street would never have been built without strong neighborhood support. After MassDOT announced the parcels’ availability for development in 2017, it received at least 40 letters from project abutters and other neighbors urging it to designate the majority for affordable housing.
Watermark Development, a private developer, also played a pivotal role. Watermark purchased three parcels and sold two to JPNDC for $1. The third parcel, on Everett Street, was developed as market-rate housing.
The City of Boston also donated a parcel to the project that lay between two of the MassDOT lots.
Funders include Boston Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston Community Preservation Act, Mass Housing, Mass Development, Watermark Development, Charlesbank Homes, and Century Bank.