Roxbury Neighborhood Gets Win In Affordable Housing Development Competition

A plan to create a mix of 46 housing units and community spaces for low- and moderate-income families in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood received the first-place prize at the 17th Annual Affordable Housing Development Competition.

The first-place winner was announced during a special awards ceremony at the Boston Society of Architects/AIA on April 26. The competition drew six entries from groups of graduate students interested in architecture, real estate, planning, finance and policy who teamed up with local affordable housing organizations.

The winning proposal, The Batson, was presented by a student team from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Doma Homes and Urban Edge Housing Corp. The Batson aims to transform a half-acre site with two boarded-up homes and another residence in Roxbury’s Egleston Square. More than 80 percent of the units include two- or three-bedroom units, and the development features community spaces on the ground floor for mingling, supportive services and play space. The first-place team received $10,000.

The competition was sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Kevin P. Martin & Assoc., Boston Society of Architects/AIA, Kuehn Charitable Foundation, ICON Architecture Inc. and Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association.

Awards were also presented to:

  • Second place: Harmony Grove, a mixed-used development of 50 units of new affordable and workforce housing in downtown Framingham proposed by students from Harvard University and MIT, in collaboration with Preservation of Affordable Housing Inc.
  • Third place: Tandem House, a substantial rehabilitation and construction of transit-oriented housing in Cambridge’s Central Square that more than doubles the number of existing units, enhances the existing facilities, and includes robust programming centered on health through art, movement and nature. The development was proposed by students from Harvard University and MIT, who worked with Cambridge Housing Authority.
  • Honorable mention: Arbor Haven, a public-private partnership that transforms a 3.9-acre industrial lot on Martha’s Vineyard into 81 units of mix-income housing and a 3,500-square-foot daycare center. Arbor Haven was proposed by students from Harvard University and MIT in partnership with Island Housing Trust and Island Food Realty Trust LLC.

Banker & Tradesman (May 4, 2017)