The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) has provided $153 million in affordable housing improvements through its Public Housing Preservation Plan.
Under the plan, CHA will improve 837 affordable housing units at Washington Elms, Newtowne Court, Manning Apartments, Putnam Gardens and Woodrow Wilson Court.
For most of the units, the improvements will include new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as life safety upgrades and energy efficiency improvements. The projects were designed and certified under the Enterprise Green Communities program, and are partly funded by a $1.6 million contribution from Action for Boston Community Development. When completed, the projects will save upwards of $1 million in energy costs annually, enabling CHA to meet its goal of generating 20 percent of its electricity onsite by 2020.
By CHA’s estimate, the ongoing construction at the developments is creating approximately 897 direct jobs and 1,040 indirect jobs through indirect and induced activities. Additionally, the projects are generating an additional output of $150 million through these indirect activities.
Funding for the projects was made possible through CHA’s use of the Rental Assistance Demonstration, an assistance program run by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. CHA also participates in HUD’s Moving to Work program, which provides operating support.
The financing of these projects marks a major milestone for CHA, which is now funding the most capital improvements underway in its 80 years of existence.
CHA and community members celebrated the first phase of the development with an event held yesterday at Washington Elms, one of the five sites under construction. Speakers for the event included Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons and City Manager Richard Rossi, as well as financial partners from Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment and Citi Community Capital.