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Affordable apartments for seniors planned for Uphams Corner

9 Leyland St. proposal

Architect's rendering.

The Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp. has filed plans for a 43-unit, $20-million apartment building at 9 Leyland St. in Dorchester, with all the units to be rented to senior citizens making no more than 60% of the area median income.

The five-story building would go on what is now a vacant lot across from a community garden, according to the non-profit group's filing with the BPDA. It would have 41 one-bedroom units and two with two bedrooms, all handicap accessible. The building would have nine parking spaces.

Dorchester Bay says the program will have facilities and services aimed at its senior residents:

The building and its spaces are being designed specifically to promote aging-in-place for its residents, many of whom may be downsizing for the first time from homes within the neighborhood. The intent is to provide housing that allows aging residents to remain in the community as opposed to needing to move to costly assisted living facilities located in removed locations to meet their housing and support needs. Amenities such as a large community room provide space and opportunity for residents to socialize, exercise, and learn. The space is designed with storefront glazing in order to publicize community and socialization, as well to create an atmosphere of interior/exterior occupancy. Additional common spaces on floors 2 and 5 provide smaller scale spaces for more intimate socialization and community building. Within these smaller common spaces are laundry rooms, so that any resident is no more than 1 floor away from access to laundry.

Dorchester Bay says it is looking at partnerships with local providers of health and wellness services for programs such as fitness classes, nutritional workshops and various social services.

In addition to providing affordable housing for seniors, the new building will help the neighborhood, the group says:

Activating this underutilized lot will eliminate existing safety and health risks associated with a vacant lot, which have invited illicit activities such as the sale and usage of drugs. A ground floor street-facing community room will also activate the streetscape and add "eyes on the street" that will contribute to creating a safer street atmosphere within the neighborhood block.

9 Leyland St. small-project review application (7.3M PDF).

Proposed building from the air



43 units and only 9 parking spaces? Just insane. How are seniors going to get around? most 70 year olds can't walk to the store, they use a car.

Voting closed 4

It's not like the MBTA runs a shuttle program for people with limited mobility. Too bad there isn't an program which allows normal people to become Taxi drivers.

Oh wait, both these things are real and common.

It hasn't been this easy to live in the city without a car since they demolished the trolly system.

Voting closed 5

Boston really needs to put a NO EXPERIMENTATION - NO SOLICITATION BAN in place over Rox and Dor. If I have to deal with one more TRANSIT FANTASY MATTERS creep in my neighborhood plugging multi-billion dollar fantasies, I will pull my hair out.

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70+ yr olds come in all forms -- some are spritely and can walk without much issue and others can use the 15/41 buses and/or Fairmount Line and/or the RIDE and/or ride-hailing services to keep them moving.

Here's the reality: We are going to age out of driving -- our eyes will start to fail us, our bodies will longer be able to handle the stress of driving, and for those on fixed incomes (again, will be most of us) letting go of the car maintenance costs and insurance will happen. Having a smaller number of parking spaces reflects all of that.

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To get on the short-list for one of those apartments? It's like throwing crumbs at the peasants.

I've always been amazed at the impressive amount of $ spent on the housing 'crisis'', homelessness, by extension services for mentally ill people, etc. Millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions. We're told the number of people who legitimately need help is relatively manageable as a proportion of our over-all population, yet; these hundreds of millions spent nation-wide, we end up with grossly inadequate affordable, non-luxury housing development, a still endemic homelessness problem, seriously mentally ill people living on the streets, not getting adequate intervention at earlier ages in school, etc.

If we gave every one of the people who legitimately need social services and affordable housing what they needed, it theoretically be possible with the $ currently spent. Where does most of this $ end up? Lawyers? Accountants? Hack jobs at city halls and state houses across the country? The huge industry private and public built up around our welfare state, including corporate and privatization 'welfare'?

And don't get me started on the scandalous and endemic fraud that goes on in many charitable organizations.

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Services for the homeless, mentally ill, just to name two, are woefully inadequate in this country. There is plenty of stuff that you can read that focuses on the funding being not as impressive as you may think it is.

I don't know who told you or where you have read and/or heard that "the number of people who legitimately need help" is "relatively manageable", and honestly, I am not sure what that means. Again, funding for these two items is usually not a high priority list at the federal and, dare I say, state level.

Here is some light reading:


To me, it sounds, like you just might be getting your "facts" from not the best sources? Perhaps it is time for you to broaden your listening/reading regimen?

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and get my info from reliable sources, AND from personal experience with people who are well versed in The System.

Tons of $ is allocated and spent in this state. Results are mediocre. And it doesn't appear to matter what government, Democrat or Republican, is in charge. This state has been essentially under solid Democratic Party control, with many Republican governors who work with the Democrats, for more than half a century.

Voting closed 7

Looks like a worthy project, but the cost? Wow!

I took a pick at the filing, and it looks like a fairly standard no-frills apartment building; it just has larger than typical community space of 2500 sqft. In real estate value, this is not the most desirable part of town and yet the development cost estimate is over $450k/1-bedroom or $750/sqft of living space. How many low income people can we house at such a price point?

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It's almost like the cost to build anywhere in Boston is really high and the standard activist and NIMBY line of "developer greed" is not really what's behind high housing costs after all. Hmm!

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Yes, it costs a lot!

However, a couple things:

1) These are rentals that will be "affordable to those making 30-60 percent of annual area median income" - which means rents will be limited to (2019 numbers):

Household size - 30% AMI - 40% AMI - 50% AMI - 60% AMI
1 - $525 - $723 - $922 - $1,120
2 - $586 - $812 - $1,039 - $1,266

Hard to read table but basically, a single person will pay between $525 to $1,120 per month, and two people $586 to $1,266 per month, based on their income. (Income can be from earnings, social security, Section 8, etc.)

2) The $20 million figure includes buying the land (5 parcels) plus building. The land is owned by the Massachusetts Land Conservation Trust, a non-profit, so my guess is that the purchase price will be below-market.

More importantly, the developer is counting on receiving money from a myriad of sources that provide funding to developers of low-income housing: the City of Boston Department of
Neighborhood Development (DND) and state-awarded resources such as Federal and State
Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME, CDBG and other affordable housing programs. These are either grants or low-cost loans that bring down the money out of pocket from the developer and therefore, tenants.

The only concern I think the neighbors would have about this project is that it's currently a series of lots, what we used to call a "park". The developer says the lots are currently used for public drinking and drug use, so they'll have to decide if cleaning up the area is worth losing the open space.

EDIT: Also, regarding the other 2 comments I saw: Is there nothing people won't complain about? FFS.

Voting closed 4

You reallly consider that Uphams Corner?

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The very first page in the application is a letter of support from City Councilor Althea Garrison, who calls it Uphams Corner. The rest of the application notes its proximity to the Uphams Corner train station and the Kroc Center, which is in Uphams Corner, no?

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Correct me if I'm wrong but there's never been a proposal submitted to the BRA/BPDA where a city councilor's letter was included anywhere, much less on the first page.


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Things change I guess , but Uphams Corner used to be thought of as centered at Columbia Road and Dudley ( Elm Farm store there ), Leydon is closer to the Cottages streets , which more or less is in the Bery.

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I'd say it's more Uphams Corner than anything else.

I think 9 parking spaces for 43 units is reasonable - depending on what age "senior" means in this context.

They have some provision for a pickup/dropoff area, which will be crucial for family members, taxi, app rides, The RIDE, and ambulettes. It's at curb, though, and not in their own lot. I wonder how well that will work.

The bus stops are 500 feet away (or less) - that's pretty good.

The commuter rail stop is a quarter-mile walk for the outbound side (and more like a third of a mile for the inbound side). Is that really a "five-minute walk" for most seniors?

Voting closed 5