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Grand Opening of J.J. Carroll House in Brighton Celebrated

The partnership between the 2Life Communities and the Boston Housing Authority replaced 64 aging public housing units at JJ Carroll Apartments, and added 78 brand new affordable units for seniors and disabled adults.

Mayor Michelle Wu yesterday celebrated the completion of J.J. Carroll House, a deeply affordable housing development in the Brighton neighborhood built in partnership between 2Life Communities, the Boston Housing Authority, and the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Housing. The project replaces JJ Carroll Apartments, an aging 64-unit Boston Housing Authority public housing site, providing 142 new, modern, energy-efficient homes for seniors and residents with disabilities. JJ Carroll House joins 2Life’s existing 763-apartment Brighton campus.

The redevelopment includes 114 deeply affordable units supported by the Section 8 voucher program, 27 affordable Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units, and one unit for an on-site manager. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Ayanna Pressley, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, B, Secretary Ed Augustus of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Secretary Kate Walsh of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Boston City Council President Ruthzee Loujeune, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Juana Matias, and MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay were all on hand for the celebration.

"One of our highest priorities is ensuring that older Bostonians and disabled residents are able to live and thrive in the city they’ve always called home,” said Mayor Michelle Wu.  “This redevelopment in Brighton preserves JJ Carroll’s affordability and more than doubles the number of residents deeply rooted in our community. I want to thank all of our partners here for their work to create needed affordable housing across our region." 

“I was delighted to celebrate the completion of the newly constructed J.J. Carroll House in Brighton, a beautiful space that will provide essential housing for our seniors and people with disabilities,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “I will keep fighting for funding at the federal level to help grow our housing supply and make building more spaces like this one in Massachusetts easier. It will take continued partnership among the federal, state, and local governments and private investments to meet our housing needs in Massachusetts, but we have the leadership and the will to get it done.”

“I was honored to celebrate the completion of the J.J. Carroll House, which will help us address the housing crisis in Boston while ensuring care for our elders is made a priority,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “Families need the peace of mind that their loved ones are being taken care of in a safe and nurturing environment, and this redevelopment will help provide just that. Thank you to the 2Life team and the Boston Housing Authority for their collaboration and delivery on this much-needed project for our elders, folks with disabilities, and communities writ large.”

"Housing is our state's biggest challenge, and innovative solutions are key to helping solve our housing crisis," said Lt. Governor Driscoll. "This reopening of the J.J. Carroll House shows the impact of public-private partnerships and how we can all work together to bring affordable homes to the people of Massachusetts. We're grateful for their work bringing new, modern, and accessible housing to our state.”

J.J. Carroll House illustrates the power of public-private partnerships to address the region’s growing housing crisis and serves as a model of affordable, service-enriched living. The development integrates healthcare and housing, promotes senior living that is community-based and exceeds sustainability standards, all while providing housing that addresses the two biggest threats to healthy aging:  loneliness and economic insecurity.

In 2019, the BHA selected 2Life to redevelop J.J. Carroll Apartments. 2Life worked closely with J.J. Carroll residents and BHA on a plan to replace the existing buildings with a new building that is more comfortable, energy efficient, and accessible, including universal design and adaptability features that enable residents to stay in their apartments even as their physical needs change.

“Together, 2Life Communities and BHA and our residents came up with an incredible vision for the future of the JJ Carroll community, and now that vision is realized,” said BHA Administrator Kenzie Bok. “This project fully integrates JJ Carroll into the neighboring 2Life Communities Brighton campus, giving our residents access to a host of programs and supportive services as well as new, efficient, high quality homes that will significantly improve their health and quality of life. It will also more than double the number of units at JJ Carroll, adding critical housing for Brighton’s seniors. This is an example of what we want to do all over Boston: provide more housing to anchor residents in our neighborhoods and allow them to age in place.”

“MassHousing was thrilled to help support 2Life Communities and the Boston Housing Authority deliver these new, deeply affordable homes,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal  Kornegay. “The new J.J. Carroll House will provide healthy, supportive, service-rich homes to seniors, while incorporating advanced clean energy building technologies. It is a showcase for mission-driven housing development.”

All the apartments at J.J. Carroll are affordable to households up to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) with Section 8 project-based vouchers subsidizing 114 apartments so that eligible residents pay only 30 percent of their income toward rent, making those apartments truly affordable to even those with extremely low incomes. A significant number of residents are formerly unhoused individuals.

"It is fitting that we celebrate the completion of the JJ Carroll House. 2 Life, in partnership with the Boston Housing Authority and its residents, has collaboratively forged a community that offers affordable housing, essential services, and vital connections to the wider community," stated Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing. "Many of Boston’s older residents want to remain in the city, yet the waitlists for existing senior developments are long. This new development will provide a home for 142 senior households, enabling them to not only live but thrive and actively contribute to this vibrant neighborhood of Boston. Congratulations to all involved."

J.J. Carroll House includes a Program of All-Inclusive Care (PACE) center, operated by Lynn-based Element Care, a testament to the role that integrated housing and healthcare plays in successfully supporting aging adults. This comprehensive health and wellness program allows low-income seniors with advanced healthcare needs to receive comprehensive, coordinated care at home and in the community.

“Intentionality is baked into every facet of this project, from its thoughtful design approach to the innovative way we’ve integrated housing and health care to the best-in-class sustainability efforts,” said Amy Schectman, 2Life’s Saul & Gitta Kurlat Chief Executive Officer. “The partnerships with the Boston Housing Authority and Element Care allow us to provide the path to optimal aging via aging in community.” 

J.J. Carrol is 2Life’s first certified Passive House building and, when certified, will be the largest multifamily Passive House building in Massachusetts and in the top 10 in the United States and Canada. Core elements include an airtight building envelope, high-quality windows and doors, solar energy, and high-performing ventilation systems to improve indoor air quality and comfort. Passive House is the highest standard for energy efficiency, using the building envelope to better retain warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer.

J.J. Carroll features ample community space along with amenities including fitness centers, art space, a unisex hair salon, a resident-run resale shop, and outdoor space including a community gathering plaza on Chestnut Hill Ave. The building has a connective corridor that allows residents to easily access all of 2Life’s Brighton campus.

Now, at 71 years young and happily settled here at 2Life, I am ready to live,” said Beverly Gilbert. “I am already meeting new people, am moving around more, and am starting to find new ways to help my community. If 70 is when you start living and being more active, then bring it.”

The total cost for the redevelopment is approximately $88.3 million, funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing, City of Boston Community Preservation Fund, MassHousing, Wells Fargo Bank, Dorfman Capital, Mass Save, and the George B. Henderson Foundation. Dellbrook | JKS served as the general contractor.

“HUD is proud to join our partners in making this innovative and critically important public housing redevelopment possible,” said HUD New England Administrator Juana B. Matias. “This project ensures the continued availability of affordable units for seniors in Boston, provides residents with a strong sense of care and community, and stands as a shining example of how the public and private sectors can work together to preserve, improve and expand public housing."

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