Over the past few months the Harvard Allston Task Force spent a lot of time talking about housing in our community. Part of this conversation were questions about what happens with the money that Harvard is required to pay into the Neighborhood Housing Trust fund.
There is an excellent story about this housing fund in today's Globe -
Boston Redevelopment Authority cuts secret deals with developers — at the expense of affordable housing.
Back in 2007 I wrote this post and after reading the Globe article thought I would see how the Neighborhood Housing Trust has been helping people in our part of the City.
For some background, developers are required to pay into this fund $7.87 per square foot of building floor space in excess of 100,000 square feet. So for a 161,000 square foot new building like Harvard's Tata Hall, Harvard pays $480,000 into this fund.
In the last 5 years, only one project in all of Allston/Brighton received funds from this trust. That development was Charing Cross at 1501 Comm Ave which got $500,000 and created 18 affordable units. That's an average of 3 new affordable units per year in A/B due to this Housing Trust Fund.
I hope this program is doing more for other parts of Boston, because while it is collecting millions from A/B developers it certainly isn't producing many results here.
Read the report at http://www.cityofboston.gov/dnd/PDFs/NHT_Report.pdf