Between the late 1930s and early1950s, the Heath Street and Bromley Park developments were constructed in Jamaica Plain (JP) to provide critical, safety-net housing for JP families. It was the first public housing development in the U.S. to be managed by a tenant organization, the Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation (TMC). In 2015 Bromley-Heath was renamed the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments (MCHA) in honor of the long-time leader of the TMC, who passed away in 2014. Federal investment in public housing has declined consistently since the 1980s, leaving much of the MCHA in a dangerous state of disrepair.
Now, a five-phased project endeavors to engage the community to master plan the development for resiliency. The ambitious multi-phase project is creating new much-needed affordable and middle-income housing with a focus on providing high-performance buildings in a transit-oriented location. The 690 new apartments will include a one-to-one replacement of the existing 253 public housing units, 7,000 sf of new community space will provide a prominent gathering space for residents, and 8,000 sf of ground-floor retail/commercial space will create new amenities. The project includes 300 parking spaces, as well as bicycle storage space and racks to support alternative modes of transportation.
The project is being designed to Passive House standards.