Since 2010, CHA has completed over $327.8 million in construction upgrades to its portfolio impacting 1,249 existing housing units, and adding 59 units of new housing.
The first round of projects, started in 2020 and completed in 2012 and 2013, were funded through CHA’s successful efforts to obtain two $10 million competitive grants provided by HUD through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The 282 units upgraded and the 10 newly constructed units as part of this work are located at Lyndon B. Johnson Apartments, Jackson Gardens and Lincoln Way. Construction on these projects totaled $73 million. Further information on these projects can be found below.
The next round of projects, started in 2015 and completed in 2018, were fund through CHA’s participation HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration and using CHA’s MTW flexibility. The 838 units at five locations, Manning Apartments, Newtowne Court, Washington Elms, Putnam Gardens and Woodrow Wilson, received over $170.5 million in improvements. Further information on these projects can be found below.
Two new construction projects totaling $62.3 million were also completed by CHA during 2014 and 2018 providing 104 replacement units plus adding 40 new units of housing. Information on these two properties, Cheryl-Ann’s Place (aka Temple Place) and Jefferson Park Apartments can be found below.
More recently, CHA has completed over $22 million of improvements impacting 84 units at three properties: Russell Apartments, Garfield Street Apartments, and St. Paul’s Residences.
Completed Projects From Latest to Earliest
St. Paul’s Residence: A $5.6 million revitalization of CHA’s St. Paul’s Residence, a historic building just outside of Harvard Square, was completed in October 2020, as part of the properties conversion to Section 8 through a RAD-Section 18 blended transaction. The public transit bus stops in front of the building, and access to the MBTA Red Line is within walking distance or via bus. The scope of work, which was developed to comply with Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities standards, includes comprehensive interior and exterior improvements which will increase the number of SRO units by four, making 24 units total, and improve the livability and energy efficiency of the building.
Garfield Street: A $2.4 million comprehensive modernization of an 8-unit family development located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Garfield Street and between Harvard and Porter Squares was completed as part of its which conversion to Section 8 under RAD. The property is within walking distance to two Red Line Stations and is served by multiple bus lines. The project includes the comprehensive modernization of interior and exterior systems and finishes and includes new kitchens and bathrooms, new windows and exterior siding, roof replacement, new heating and domestic hot water systems, energy efficiency upgrades, and landscaping improvements.
Construction was completed in February 2020 and the building was occupied in March 2020.
Russell: A $14.4 million revitalization of CHA’s Russell Apartments, a 51-unit development housing elders and persons with disabilities located in North Cambridge within walking distance of Porter Square. Russell was converted to Section 8 utilizing tenant protection vouchers awarded the CHA through the Section 18 process. Construction started in March 2018, and was completed in March 2019. The scope of the renovations included full building system upgrades to the heating, ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems; exterior refurbishments including roof replacement and façade repairs; and extensive interior refurbishments including new kitchens and bathrooms in units. One additional unit was created in the building from an underutilized two-story lounge area. Work complied with the Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities standards.
Manning: An $66 million substantial rehabilitation of 198 units of federally-assisted public housing and construction of 6 new units at Manning Apartments was completed as part of its conversion to Section 8 under RAD. Construction, which started in earnest in February 2016 and was completed in November 2018, complied with the Enterprise Foundations Green Communities standards, and included major renovations to all building systems and components including heating, electrical, plumbing, ventilation, windows, roofing, and exterior. Significant interior renovations including new kitchen and bathrooms, flooring, and painting, and a redesign of common area spaces.
Putnam Gardens: A $25 million substantial rehabilitation of 122 units of federally-assisted public housing at Putnam Gardens was completed as part of its which conversion to Section 8 under RAD. Construction, which started in January 2015 and was completed in mid-2018, complied with the Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities standards, and included major interior improvements including new kitchens and bathrooms, new flooring and painting, replacement of baseboard heating and insulation of exterior walls. Building system improvements included fire alarm upgrades, building sprinkler installation, heat plant replacement, and other energy improvements.
Jefferson Park: A $51 million redevelopment of CHA’s state public housing development, Jefferson Park. Plans included the demolition of 108 units of obsolete housing, to be replaced with 104 units of newly constructed, deeply affordable housing subsidized through by an allocation of project-based vouchers provided by CHA. Construction started in January 2016 and was completed in August 2018 at this award-winning site.
Newtowne Court: A $48 million substantial rehabilitation of 268 units of federally-assisted public housing at Newtowne Court was completed as part of its conversion to Section 8 under RAD. Construction, which started in April 2015 was substantially completed on March 30, 2018, complied with the Enterprise Foundations Green Communities standards, and included major interior improvements including new kitchens and bathrooms, new flooring and painting, and replacement of vertical fan coil heating system. Building system improvements included window replacement, significant masonry refurbishments, roof replacement, fire alarm upgrades, building sprinkler installation, heat plant replacement, and other energy improvements. A new playground and ball playing court is being provided along with a general refurbishment of site plantings and furnishings.
Washington Elms: A $28 million substantial rehabilitation of 175 units of federally-assisted public housing at Washington Elms was completed in June 2017 as part of its conversion to Section 8 under RAD. Construction complied with the Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities standards, and included renovations to building exterior including masonry refurbishment and sealant and replacement of the masonry stairs and canopies to second floor units; building system improvements including heat plant replacement, other energy efficiency upgrades, and fire alarm upgrades; and significant site restoration and redesign especially in share courtyards and trash handling.
Woodrow Wilson Court: A $2.6 million selective rehabilitation of 68 units of federally-assisted public housing at Woodrow Wilson Court was completed as part of its RAD Section 8 conversion. Construction, which was completed in Fall 2016 included replacement of boilers, masonry refurbishment, construction of a new trash room, and associated site work.
7 Temple Place: A $11 million construction of 40 new deeply affordable units in a 5-story building in the Central Square neighborhood of Cambridge. The project was completed in December 2015, and the property was fully leased-up in January 2016. The project was designed to comply with Enterprise Foundations Green Communities standards, and included the allocation of 40 project-based vouchers from the CHA.
To access project sheets on the larger RAD conversion projects, follow the links below:
- CHA RAD Summary
- Manning RAD
- Putnam Gardens RAD
- Newtowne Court RAD
- Washington Elms RAD
- Woodrow Wilson Court RAD
ARRA Funding for Various Redevelopment and Renovation Projects
Cambridge Housing Authority was awarded nearly $29 million in federal stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). On a per apartment basis, CHA is the fifth largest recipient of competitive ARRA grants amongst large public housing agencies.
These stimulus funds enabled CHA to advance over $81 million in long-overdue redevelopment and renovation projects throughout the City. This work resulted in higher quality housing for low-income Cantabrigians, and allowed CHA to improve energy efficiency while significantly reducing its carbon footprint. Combined, these projects have injected over $160 million dollars into the local economy and created or retained hundreds of well-paying jobs.
Information on the two largest Cambridge ARRA projects is provided below.
Cambridge Affordable Presidential Apartments: A $41 million substantial rehabilitation/new construction project of 115 units of federally-assisted public housing and voucher family housing; was completed in August 2013. The project consists of the substantial rehabilitation of 45 units at Jackson Gardens and the construction of seventy new units at Lincoln Way replacing the original sixty units. Construction complied with the Energy Star Homes and Enterprise Foundations Green Communities standards and included a separately financed 115 KW solar array. The properties were subsequently converted to RAD as of January 1, 2015.
Lyndon B. Johnson: A $32 million comprehensive redevelopment of a 177 unit federally-assisted public housing high-rise building for elderly and disabled residents in the Cambridgeport neighborhood was completed under the ARRA competitive grant program. The project was completed in December 2013. The redevelopment plan included exterior cladding, expansive window walls, unit reconfiguration and comprehensive renovation to unit and common spaces. This project was a deep energy retrofit with significant energy improvements including an 81.3 KW solar array and 150 KW cogeneration plant. Annual energy and water costs have been reduced by over $250,000. The property remained between 70% and 85% occupied during construction and was developed in conformance with the Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities standards.
To access detailed information about the federal stimulus (ARRA) projects, follow the links below.
- Lyndon B. Johnson: Comprehensive Modernization Fact Sheet
- Lyndon B. Johnson: Comprehensive Modernization (PowerPoint Show)
- Lyndon B. Johnson: December 2, 2013 Press Release
- ‘Case Study: Lyndon B. Johnson Public Housing Complex in Cambridge’ (article posted to altenergymag.com)
- Jackson Gardens + Lincoln Way Apartments: Comprehensive Modernization Fact Sheet
- Jackson Gardens + Lincoln Way Apartments: September 8, 2014 Press Release