The Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) received an additional funding award from the state Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCH). Under the Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities Program this new funding provides for the financial feasibility necessary for the Innes Redevelopment project to move forward. The new funding closes the gap presented by the current market conditions and financial challenges placed on the project due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resultant economic uncertainties and allows the project to kick off resident relocation this fall and plan for a groundbreaking for the redevelopment in early 2022.
“This new funding is more than just needed resources – it’s a firm affirmation from our state partners that our residents deserve better and that this project provides the solution,” said Chelsea Housing Authority Executive Director, Al Ewing. “The Innes Redevelopment will include 96 new homes for public housing residents, create 40 new units for working families and bring more people together from all backgrounds and income levels – true equity in housing resources for all people.”
The Innes Redevelopment, a partnership with the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA), and Joseph J. Corcoran Company (JJC) has overcome unforeseen, rising cost increases in construction materials along with continued escalation in labor rates and shifts due to COVID19 in the local rental market. The thresholds for underwriting and investment terms forced the project to seek additional resources to achieve the financial feasibility to move this project forward. In addition to the new funding provided by DHCD, the project was also recently awarded a MassWorks grant by the Commonwealth to improve various stormwater and utility connections along the Central Avenue more flexibility from the city through an amended TIF agreement and has brought in new private partners to allow this project to advance with confidence. The redevelopment partnership now includes John M. Corcoran & Co. a development and management company with 70+ years of experience in development and residential management including several sites in Chelsea. They have formed a joint venture with JJC to move Innes Redevelopment toward final completion.
“I’m proud to be a part of this team that never gives up – preserving public housing units and ensuring the long-term affordability of our communities is never easy work – never mind in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Joesph J. Corcoran “The Chelsea Housing Authority, and our partners in local and state government continue to put their confidence in us to get this done and together with John M. Corcoran & Co. we will – today is a great step forward.”
Now, the Innes Redevelopment team, along with Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU), and in collaboration with the Innes Residents Association (IRA) will kick off the relocation process this Fall and implement the Resident Relocation Plan for current residents who remain on-site at Innes as the development team moves closer to construction.
“We are excited for this project to move forward,” said Melissa Booth, President of the Innes Resident Association. “Our team is ready to support the relocation plan and move another step closer to new homes for our residents.”
The Resident Relocation Plan was developed in close coordination between, CHA, IRA and JJC to ensure all residents are treated equitably and fairly throughout the redevelopment process. The relocation plan is prescribed through a combination of housing law and recommendations generated through a series of meetings with the Innes Resident Association represented by Greater Boston Legal Services in collaboration with HOU.
A Resident Relocation Plan kick-off meeting with the IRA and HOU will be held virtually on August 25, 2021 where current residents will review updated plans for the relocation timeline and process. Upon completion, the Innes Redevelopment will yield 96 units of new, modernized public housing, 40 units of workforce housing, and 194 units of market-rate housing in the City of Chelsea. Located on the ground floor, retail space will comprise amenities integral to residents’ quality of life. Furthermore, in support of the project, the City, through the Department of Housing and Community Development and Department of Public Works, will comprehensively reconstruct utility and streetscape infrastructure to benefit the neighborhood.