A plan to create studio apartments for formerly homeless residents and mixed-income housing in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston was the first-place winner of the 16th annual Affordable Housing Development Competition.
The awards were announced April 26 at an awards ceremony at the Boston Society of Architects/AIA.
Proposed by a student team from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in collaboration with The Community Builders and the Pine Street Inn, Balch House consists of two buildings and includes 46 studio apartments for homeless residents and an additional 25 units for residents at various income levels.
"Building upon the successful Housing First and Permanent Supportive Housing models, the Balch House furthers the mission of housing the homeless while also developing mixed-income housing for the Jamaica Plain neighborhood," notes the Balch House proposal.
Receiving the second place award was Millers Court, which includes the renovation of 297 units of senior housing and new construction of an additional 68 units in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The proposal included construction of 30,000 square feet of mixed-use space. The team - made up of students from Harvard University and MIT - collaborated with the Cambridge Housing Authority.
The third place winner was Hazelton Terraces - expansion of an existing affordable-housing site to create 38 new units of housing as well as community space and a playground in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston. Composed of students from Harvard University, Tufts University, and Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Hazelton team worked with the nonprofit Urban Edge.
Susan Elliott, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston's chief Business officer, emceed the event, while Sheila Dillon, housing cabinet chief and director of the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development, was the keynote speaker.
"Stay in Boston, learn affordable housing, learn development, but join a movement," Ms. Dillon said in her keynote address. "Without you we will lose the progress we have made."
Sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; Kevin P. Martin & Associates, P.C.; Boston Society of Architects/AIA; Kuehn Charitable Foundation; ICON architecture, inc.; and Citizens' Housing and Planning Association, the competition pairs teams of talented graduate students with affordable-housing organizations to develop innovative and comprehensive development proposals addressing the needs of these organizations.