Six Quint Avenue in Boston’s Allston neighborhood was perfect: Wide hallways, beautiful woodwork, airy rooms — and a preexisting license as a lodging house.
So, when the 1910 property went on the market, Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation (CDC) took immediate action. As John Woods, Executive Director of Allston Brighton CDC, notes, “We had been talking to partners about the need for deeply affordable housing for addiction recovery. When this property became available it was a little miracle. We immediately reached out to BlueHub.”
He continues, “One of the things that sets BlueHub apart from other funding agencies is that they immediately start with, ‘How can we help?’ I can’t tell you how important that is in terms of creating positive momentum. That’s why they are our go-to people.”
“BlueHub’s willingness to be a viable lender set a snowball in motion,” says Woods. “Their early confidence sparked essential support from the city and state, including $75,000 from the MassHousing Center for Community Recovery Innovation (CCRI).”
At Allston Brighton CDC, we understand how to create a financially feasible housing development; we have been pondering how we can use that housing expertise to enhance the missions of organizations that are supporting special populations. This partnership is so important.”
When renovations are complete, the building will have 14 units for residents, and one for a resident recovery manager, whose job will be to connect residents to the services they require. Those services will be supplied by local addiction recovery organizations. Caitlin Robillard, Director of Real Estate Development, explains why this is so important.
“People coming out of addiction recovery treatment are eligible for limited supportive services. But as they struggle to cope with the new reality of their lives, seeking those services becomes their responsibility. At our property, they will have support to make that happen. We are really excited about the model we are working on with these groups; we hope it means that, for our residents, housing won’t be a trigger for relapse.”
Woods concurs, “Experts speak with a single voice about the need to get additional housing resources to make a dent in addiction recovery — as well as how crucial the extra support is to keep people from back-sliding. That connection is the key to success.”