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74 new affordable housing units for Chinatown

The Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center today formally opened the Hong Lok House in Chinatown, which brings 74 additional affordable housing units to the neighborhood.

Today’s ceremony marks the end of a nine-year struggle to organize suitable and affordable housing for Chinatown’s elderly. In 2006, the Center drew up plans to redevelop the existing Hong Lok House - an outdated residence developed in 1978 with only 28 units. The new development provides more low-income housing for seniors, along with new community space designed for fitness, dancing and health programs.

“It was a privilege to have worked with Rogerson Communities to bring this project to fruition,” said Ruth Moy, the executive director of the Center, in a press release Monday. “The end product is something the entire community can be proud of and I am pleased to be welcoming each tenant into their new home.”

The Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center was founded in 1972 by neighborhood activists who recognized the need for greater support services for Chinatown’s seniors. The agency serves nearly 1,200 individuals per day, focusing on issues like housing, transportation and health and rehabilitation programs and services for the neighborhood.

Longtime residents of the original building were given first priority to the new apartments, according to the press release. Funding for the redevelopment of the $37 million building came from donors, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

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Comments

You know, people who weren't from Chinatown.

http://www.universalhub.com/2015/whats-happening-chinatown

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It is. Read your own link.

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$35,000,000 for 74 apartments is about $473,000 cost per unit. I hope there are not many more elderly poor looking for housing in Chinatown. Half of these units are studios and half one bedrooms. If the average unit is 550 sq. ft that gives a construction cost of over $850 a square foot.

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Nearly all cost the same, luxury or affordable. The cost of the construction is based upon the basic elements of the building plus land costs and labor.

"Luxury" as in "New Luxury Condos on East Cottage Street" costs essentially the same as it would here.

It is when you step up the extras like Butler's Pantries, underground parking, roof decks, double sinks, that Jacuzzi that you will use three times, wood raised by pygmies for the mantle, etc. when the price rises.

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"Free" land helps, too.

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These units count towards the Kensington's inclusionary zoning quota, correct?

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Could have built 300 or so units in Hyde Park, but it makes way more sense to get a nice fat kickback from the developer and those who want to keep gramps in Chinatown.

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...that dirty little secret fact that affordable housing has not been built in HP since before Menino (coincidence?) and folks here seem to prefer blight to change (see lawsuit against most recent project at the Fairmount Station).

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For those interested in learning more about Chinatown's history, I highly recommend reading any (and all) of these documents I've found online.

You can learn about Chinese immigration, population, demographics, and history.

Chinatown / South Cove on Open Library

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This redevelopment project was being finalized when I still worked at Rogerson Communities -- nearly 8 years ago. Since that time, after taking another job in the financial district.. I've watched any number of luxury high-rise apartment buildings go up around it.

Kind of incredible that low and moderate income housing takes so incredibly long to get built.

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Kind of incredible that low and moderate income housing takes so incredibly long to get built.

It just takes that long to figure out who's pockets are going to get lined

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you seem to have a bead on this. please cite. or was it just cynicism?

Having worked in developing affordable housing for about 25 years in Boston, the pro formas I have reviewed never carried much fat and were lean to the point of causing concern. If "lining pockets" mean paying design/development/building professionals at competitive rates to accomplish the best job possible then you have a point.
my2c

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n/t

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I share a lot of that same feeling when you look at RE prices in this city.

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The labor premium thanks to union cartels eliminating competitive pricing adds a lot of cost to any work in Boston.

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but this is true for all projects; occasionally, and to their credit, it has been possible to negotiate rates with the carpenter's union for affordable units. Yes, it's crazy that an affordable dwelling should cost $400K to build or renovate: all the more reason why subsidies are needed and are in place to some extent to make it possible for lower income folks to remain in cities like Boston.

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Boston's subsidy scheme is making things worse. It costs developers more money to build designated affordable units in otherwise market rate units or pay the buyout fee. That drives up costs and slows development for everyone else.

The only way housing costs are going to go down in the city is if zoning and permitting is changed to allow dense multifamily housing to be built in sufficient quantities without the expensive drawn out process Boston currently has.

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