(Contributed by HCA Board Member Laura Wiener, and Executive Director Erica Schwarz)
The Housing Corporation of Arlington (HCA), the Town’s non-profit housing developer, is excited to create a new development on Sunnyside Ave with 43 new affordable homes. The homes will be a diverse mix of sizes and serve people of different incomes, all under 60% of the area median income. Arlington and the entire Greater Boston region have a severe shortage of affordable housing, which this project will help to address. Arlington’s Master Plan, Housing Plan, and Housing Trust Action Plan all acknowledge the need to create significantly more affordable housing.
The HCA’s new Sunnyside Ave proposal is located just off Broadway, near the Alewife Brook DCR Greenway and the Somerville line; it’s a great location near a supermarket, bus lines, and a modest walk to Davis Square. Currently, the site is a dilapidated former auto body shop. The proposal is designed to meet the specific needs of HCA’s residents and the Arlington community. The development will be Passive House certified. It includes 21 vehicle parking spaces, approximately 70 bike parking spaces, and a 2nd floor roof garden for tenants to enjoy. The development also includes a community room that the HCA will share with other local groups. The project will also add a sidewalk on Sunnyside Ave where there currently isn’t one. HCA owns the site and expects to start seeking zoning approval in the spring.
Building affordable housing is a long and complicated process, due to the permitting process plus the number and complexity of funding sources needed. The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development receives many more requests than they can fund in every funding round. We expect to complete the permitting process in 2023, secure our financing by the end of 2024, and start construction in early 2025. With an expected construction timeline of around one year, HCA expects to see tenants moving into the building in spring, 2026. A public forum on the project is anticipated in the coming months. Given the complicated funding and permitting challenges, your monetary and public support of our new development on Sunnyside Ave would be appreciated.
The Housing Corporation of Arlington is a non-profit, community-based developer and owner of affordable housing in Arlington. It owns 150 units of affordable rental housing in all parts of town. The units are occupied by a diverse mix of families and individuals. HCA has been purchasing, rehabilitating, and building new housing since 2000, and also provides social service programs to support family stability and build community connection and engagement. Every week, HCA staff help local families who are struggling with the extreme cost of housing, making the creation of more affordable homes both urgent and important.
The staff, board of directors, and the more than 1,000 tenants, donors, and members who make up the HCA organization are very excited about this opportunity to expand Arlington’s portfolio of affordable housing. Our most recent projects included three newly constructed buildings—two in Downing Square (Lowell Street) and a mixed-use property shared with “Arlington Eats” on Broadway. To learn more about HCA or apply for housing, go to: https://www.housingcorparlington.org.