Beacon Communities and the Boston Housing Authority have partnered on an ambitious effort to redevelop Old Colony, one of the oldest public housing developments in the nation. Built in the 1940s, the 840-unit property had become distressed and obsolete.
The site is being transformed into the new Anne M. Lynch Homes at Old Colony, with the most recent phase being the creation of 55 affordable homes for seniors.
“This was an opportunity for new production of senior housing with dedicated resident services in an award-winning passive house building,” says Darcy Jameson, vice president, development, at Beacon Communities.
According to Jameson, sustainable design and energy efficiency were primary goals of a master plan that was developed in partnership with the city and community was sustainable design and energy efficiency. The earlier two phases embraced that objective with some of the first LEED Platinum buildings in the state, and the new senior housing development continues that journey. Utilizing continuous insulation, airtight construction, high-performance windows, and other features, it is Boston’s first affordable senior housing development to achieve passive house certification. It recently earned Best Low-Rise Multifamily Building in the 2022 Phius Passive Projects Design Competition as it pushed the boundaries of passive building design.
The Anne M Lynch Homes at Old Colony Phase 3C is also designed specifically as a senior housing community, with offices for Harbor Health to operate its Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The resident-selection plan for the building includes a unique preference for members of the PACE system. Through the partnership, residents can take advantage of on-site programs that will help them stay healthy and in their homes for as long as possible.
The $26.4 million development is financed with low-income housing tax credits and other funding.
It’s a key step in the larger effort to redevelop the entirety of the original 840-unit Old Colony site. The final redevelopment will include new production with a total of 887 affordable apartments.