Boston Housing Authority

Departments > Planning and Real Estate Development > Mixed-Finance Development > Mission Main

Mission Main

mission 1          mission 2

Year completed: 2002
Total units: 545
Total development cost: $159 million
Management company: Winn/Peabody/Cruz
Contact: For more information or to apply for housing contact Leslie Giddings at 617-879-1580 or by email
Mission Main was one of the most troubled and distressed of the Boston Housing Authority's (BHA) properties. Built in 1940 under a federal program to provide low-cost public housing, the development was built as a "superblock," with 38 three-story buildings arranged in rows without through streets, and with very little parking.  However, as a result of poor management and lack of resources, partial interventions and inconsistent maintenance were the rule, thus, the site deteriorated drastically, In addition, the crime rate at Mission Main rose to become the highest of all BHA properties. Drugs in particular and the violence they breed took hold of the development and its residents as nowhere else. Fueled in part by a relatively higher income neighborhood, the development became the place where offenders went not only to traffic but also to look for a safe haven as the physical structures provided a maze of indefensible spaces where police pursuit was nearly impossible. 

To address all the issues at Mission Main, the BHA submitted in 1993 a HOPE VI application with a plan for a complete makeover of the housing development and the neighborhood. Through partnership with Mission Main residents, the BHA established the following goals for the Mission Main HOPE VI initiative:

  • End isolation of Mission Main by integrating the development physically, socially and economically with the broader Mission Main neighborhood; 
  • Build high-quality housing that will attract and retain a broad income mix, and will survive well without extraordinary capital improvement resources; 
  • Create a self-sufficient community through supportive service, community service, and economic development components; 
  • Create and maintain a meaningful partnership with the residents in the redevelopment and ongoing operations of the Mission Main development; 
  • Promote economic development in the Mission Main community and neighborhood during the redevelopment that will have a lasting impact by providing jobs to local residents, particularly residents of Mission Main, minorities and women, and by providing access to contracts for goods and services to minority and women-owned businesses; 
  • Minimize temporary dislocation during the redevelopment period in order to build and, to the maximum extent possible, maintain a cohesive residential community through and beyond the redevelopment period; 
  • Develop the largest possible number of units available to public housing eligible residents through the creative use of HOPE VI funds, private financing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits and other sources of financing and subsidy; 
  • Identify new forms of ownership, management, financing, resident selection, service delivery and economic development that will assist the BHA in carrying out its mission to provide high quality living environments for families of low and moderate income. 

The redevelopment of Mission Main is now comprised of 535 units of rental housing, with a mixture of 83% public housing units at 17% market rent.   A new non-profit entity, the Mission Main Resident Services Corp. (MMRC), was formed under the HOPE VI program to implement a range of supportive services including after-school, youth and elderly programs.