Boston Housing Authority

Departments > Planning and Real Estate Development > Mixed-Finance Development > Franklin Hill

Franklin Hill

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Year Completed: 2009
Total units: 266
Total Development Cost: $109 million
Developer: Trinity Financial, Inc.
Management Company: Trinity Management Co.

Key Partnerships:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Greater Boston Food Bank

Awards:

  • Community Building by Design Award
  • Builders Choice Design and Planning Award

Contact: For more information or to apply for housing contact Dignobel Rojas at 617-288-4700 or by e-mail.

Project Background

The Boston Housing Authority, with developer partner Trinity Financial, Inc., has successfully transformed the formerly distressed Franklin Hill public housing development in Dorchester into a beautiful new community of affordable housing. 
 
Throughout the multi-year planning process, BHA and the Franklin Hill Taskforce were committed to working closely with residents and other community representatives to ensure that the resulting plan reflected the experience and vision of those who live and work in the Franklin Hill development and neighborhood. To this end, we convened over 25 public meetings, workshops, and design charrettes which were very well attended. As a result of this community input, the new Franklin Hill development focused on the following goals:

  • Ending the isolation of Franklin Hill by integrating the development physically, socially, and economically with the broader neighborhood;
  • Developing high-quality housing, including new construction that incorporates Green Building Technology:
  • Maintaining a meaningful partnership and relationship with the residents during the planning, implementation, and ongoing operations phases;
  • Enhancing and expanding meaningful community support and participation from and with residents from the Franklin Hill neighborhood;
  • Promoting economic development in the Franklin Hill neighborhood throughout the implementation and operational phases of this initiative by providing jobs for local residents (particularly residents of Franklin Hill), minorities, women, and people with disabilities and by providing access to contracts for goods and services to small, disadvantaged, minority-, women-, and locally-owned businesses.
  • Minimizing temporary and permanent relocation to minimize the disruption to the lives of the existing Franklin Hill population. 

Construction of the new Franklin Hill community completed in October 2009.   The community includes the new construction of 266 affordable rental units as well as community space and a park, has successfully achieved these goals.  

Green Building Initiative

Through a HUD-funded Healthy Public Housing grant, BHA began work with Franklin Hill residents to explore ways in which housing improvements can have a positive impact on resident health and comfort, particularly for those residents suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma.  Much of this work has informed the green and healthy building initiatives that BHA has pursued here at Franklin Hill and in other recent redevelopments.  These green building initiatives include upgrades to the ventilation systems, installation of electric stoves, use of low-VOC paint, and availability of carpet-free units, to name a few.  

Supportive Services

 It is important to note that completing the physical transformation of the Franklin Hill community is only part of the equation. The long term health of this redevelopment project also depends upon residents’ access to the resources necessary to insure successful tenancies. At Franklin Hill we are fortunate to have committed partners to help us achieve this goal. In addition to a resident services coordinator on the Trinity Management team and the long-standing partnership with Phillips Brooks House, Franklin Hill welcomes collaborations with two new organizations.
 
The Boys and Girls Club of Boston runs after-school and summer programs for the youth of Franklin Hill. The program operates out of one of mid-rise buildings and includes a computer lab, arts instruction, homework assistance, and recreational opportunities for the development’s younger residents.
 
Additionally, the Greater Boston Food Bank has installed one of their food pantry programs at the Franklin Hill development. Located in the same mid-rise building as the Boys & Girls Club, management office and tenant task force office, the food pantry is managed by the resident task force and tenant volunteers with the assistance of Greater Boston Food Bank staff and the Winn resident services coordinator. The food pantry will provide much needed food for the residents of the development. This is an expanded and much more comprehensive version of the food program operating at the development prior to its revitalization.