Press Releases
CommonWealth Builder
City of Boston and MassHousing Announce Support for Three Boston Projects to Create 55 New Homes for Purchase by Moderate-Income, First-Time Homebuyers
Funding from MassHousing's CommonWealth Builder Program will help develop the 30-unit Lower Blue Hill Avenue Corridor, the 13-unit 405 Washington Street, and the 12-unit Westminster Avenue on vacant city lots
June 20, 2024

BOSTON – June 20, 2024 – The City of Boston and MassHousing announced today that three sets of vacant city-owned lots will be transformed into a total of 55 new affordable homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers.

The City of Boston had previously selected three developers to transform the vacant, city-owned lots. DVM Housing Partners is constructing 30 new homes the Lower Blue Hill Avenue Corridor in Mattapan, DREAM Development is creating 12 new homes at 24 Westminster Avenue in Roxbury (shown above), and Urbanica is building 13 new homes at 405 Washington Street in Dorchester.

MassHousing is supporting the construction of the 55 new affordable for-sale homes by contributing a total of $13.3 million in funding from the Agency's CommonWealth Builder Program. The city's Mayor’s Office of Housing made the lots available for development and contributed $7.4 million in additional financial resources.

"Homeownership is a pathway to building generational wealth and achieving economic stability for families," said Boston's Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon. "We appreciate the collaboration with our partners including MassHousing, community members, and local developers to make these projects successful. We are proud to increase homeownership opportunities for Boston residents, and I am excited to see these projects move forward."

"The developments moving forward today will allow 55 households to achieve homeownership for the first time, and begin building home equity and generational wealth," said MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay. "We are pleased to be partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Housing to create these exciting new homebuying opportunities for working families, as well as others across the city."

MassHousing’s CommonWealth Builder Program is a landmark initiative to address the racial homeownership gap in Massachusetts by creating new homeownership and wealth-building opportunities in underserved communities. It is the largest state-level program of its kind in the nation and provides market-based subsidies to support the construction of new, moderately priced, single-family homes and condominiums in the City of Boston, the state’s 26 Gateway Cities, and Framingham and Randolph. The program subsidizes the production of homes restricted to homebuyers with incomes set anywhere between 70 percent to 120 percent of their Area Median Income (AMI). For projects in the City of Boston, MassHousing and the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) coordinate on construction funding and administration.

The three latest projects receiving CommonWealth Builder funding are:

24 Westminster Avenue, Roxbury

DREAM Development, LLC is utilizing $3.4 million in CommonWealth Builder funding to develop 12 new homes. DREAM Development will transform a vacant lot in Roxbury into a new, three-story building located less than a mile from the Jackson Square and Stony Brook MBTA stations. The development will have six one-bedroom homes and six three-bedroom homes. Six of the homes will be sold to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI and six homes will be sold to households earning up to 100 percent of AMI. The general contractor is Hemenway Construction Management, Inc., the architect is DREAM Collaborative, and the management agent will be UHM Properties. Other financing sources include $3.4 million in construction financing from The Life Initiative.

“This project was born out of a need to innovate around the creation of homeownership opportunities for individuals and families with diverse backgrounds and needs. We are thrilled to be breaking ground on sustainable, well-designed homes that will provide wealth building opportunities for Roxbury residents and beyond,” said DREAM Development Managing Principal Gregory Minott.

405 Washington Street, Dorchester

Urbanica, Inc. is utilizing $1.95 million in CommonWealth Builder funding to develop 13 new homes for purchase on a vacant lot in Dorchester previously under control of the City of Boston in a new, four-story, wood-frame building with one three-bedroom home, six two-bedroom homes and six one-bedroom homes. Seven of the homes will be sold to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI and six homes will be sold to households earning up to 100 percent of AMI. The site is across the street from a public park and is along an MBTA bus route with access to the Ruggles and Ashmont MBTA stations and is a half mile from the Talbot commuter rail station. The development will be constructed using Passive House principles and will aim to meet LEED Silver or Gold certifiable standards. The general contractor is Urbanica Haynes, LLC, the architect is Urbanica Design, LLC and the management agent will be UHM Properties. Other funding sources included $2.2 million in direct support from Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Housing and $3.2 million in construction financing from Leader Bank.

"Urbanica believes creating affordable homeownership is the key to creating and building wealth for people in our communities. We are thrilled to deliver another successful project in partnership with MassHousing's Commonwealth Builder and the City of Boston and look forward to delivering more affordable homeownership units to the market," said Kamran Zahedi, President of Urbanica, Inc.

1015-1019, 1028-1044, and 1039 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan

DVM Housing Partners is utilizing $8 million in CommonWealth Builder funding to develop 30 new homes for sale in three, three-story buildings on three non-contiguous vacant sites along Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan. Each building will also have a commercial unit. There will be a total of three three-bedroom homes, 19 two-bedroom homes and eight one-bedroom homes. Twenty homes will be sold to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI and 10 units will be sold to households earning up to 100 percent of AMI. The development will be constructed to meet LEED Silver certifiable standards. The site is less than a half mile from Harambee Park and the Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, and is located along MBTA bus routes with service to the Ruggles and Jackson Square MBTA stations. It will be less than a mile from the Talbot commuter rail station. The general contractor is Bald Hill Builders, the architect is Studio Luz Architects, and the management agent will be UHM Properties. Other funding sources included $4.7 million in direct support from Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Housing, an $8.6 million construction loan from the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), and $978,000 in developer financing.

"We are immensely grateful to MassHousing and the Mayor's Office of Housing for their generous support and visionary leadership in funding our project. Their commitment to affordable homeownership has been instrumental in bringing our vision to life, enabling us to achieve milestones that were once merely aspirations. With their backing, we are empowered to make a tangible difference and drive meaningful change in Mattapan," said Dariela Villón-Maga, President and Founder of DVM Housing Partners.

About the CommonWealth Builder Program

Massachusetts has the sixth-largest racial homeownership gap the United States. Across the nation, approximately 46 percent of households of color own their own home, compared to just 34 percent in Massachusetts. The homeownership gap between white and nonwhite residents in Massachusetts has helped drive significant disparities in household wealth. The CommonWealth Builder Program is a double-bottom-line initiative. It grows the Commonwealth’s stock of moderately priced starter homes, while advancing intergenerational wealth building in underserved communities.

MassHousing’s Homeownership Division supports CommonWealth Builder with a combination of mortgage financing for homebuyers, down payment assistance loans, mortgage insurance with job-loss protection at no added cost, and targeted marketing in the Gateway Cities to ensure that borrowers of color are made aware of this new opportunity for homeownership.

Since the program launched in 2019, MassHousing has committed a total of $106.2 million to 22 CommonWealth Builder projects across Massachusetts. These projects will create a total of 564 new homeownership opportunities, including 474 new affordable homes for first-time homebuyers.

The CommonWealth Builder Program is funded by state capital funds and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocated by the Massachusetts Legislature. The Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities are Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield and Worcester.

About The Mayor's Office of Housing

The Mayor’s Office of Housing is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, creating and preserving affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can obtain, maintain, and remain in safe, stable housing. The department develops and implements the City of Boston’s housing creation and homelessness prevention plans and collaborates with local and national partners to find new solutions and build more housing affordable to all, particularly those with lower incomes. For more information, please visit the MOH website.

About MassHousing

MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The Agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, and to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing does not use taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations, although it administers some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception, MassHousing has provided approximately $29 billion for affordable housing. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


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Paul McMorrow
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City of Boston
Kerry O’Brien