Boston Mayor Kim Janey cut the ribbon on O’Connor Way Senior Housing Wednesday afternoon to officially welcome home its residents.
“Whenever I can cut a ribbon on new housing, or housing that’s affordable, or housing that is for seniors, it is a wonderful day in the city of Boston,” the mayor said.
“We’re really excited to be here today,” Donna Brown, executive director of the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation, said in her opening remarks. “We completed this project in December and we have not been able to celebrate until now.”
O’Connor Way, which boasts 46 units of affordable housing for the elderly, was developed on vacant land donated by the Boston Housing Authority. The project was spearheaded through a partnership of the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation and Caritas Communities.
Kate Bennett, administrator for the BHA, thanked Donna “for being the affordable housing warrior that you are. You have forged a path in this neighborhood where no one has gone before.
“I’m sure I speak for others in expressing gratitude. Your impact here, at this site, and throughout South Boston, is remarkable. It’s been great working with you on this.”
Michael Kineavy, COO of Cronin Development, a key partner on the project, echoed Kate. “With Donna in the lead, we could not have a better affordable housing warrior to lead the charge.”
Mayor Janey noted that “this housing crisis was with us long before COVID-19 and the pandemic has made things worse, and so to be here to offer new units, to add to our supply, is incredible.”
She added, “I’m just grateful that there’s a team in place that has done the work on this site and look forward to making sure that we are doing more to expand opportunities for residents all across our city and using this as a great model for how we do that work.”
As challenging as it can be to just preserve the portfolio of public housing, Kate said, “what we’re trying to do in the last several years is actually add to the supply of affordable housing in the city. And that’s, for me, what makes this project so special. It’s amazing to create net new 46 units for low-income seniors. It’s an amazing accomplishment.”
Caritas Communities Executive Director Karin Cassel Mitterando noted: “This is such an important moment for so many lives that are going to be changed because of this. When you provide affordable housing, you provide dignity.”