Fenway News Online reports that the owners of Burbank Apartments have their way, the Fenway neighborhood may lose 173 affordable homes – nearly 10% of the subsidized housing in the Fenway – beginning on April 1, 2011.
The mortgage of Burbank Apartments was financed by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) 40 years ago so that the development could be offered as subsidized housing. But the HUD regulatory agreement maintaining affordability will expire on April 1, 2011.
At the same time that the HUD agreement expires, development owners Robert and William Kargman also plan to voluntarily opt out of the project-based Section 8 program, which further subsidizes the development.
The end of the mortgage and the owners’ plans to opt out of the project-based Section 8 contract mean that low- and moderate-income people will be effectively priced out of a neighborhood that is rich in employment, transit and other resources.
For their part, the owners have indicated they will pre-pay the mortgage which will allow HUD to offer eligible current tenants “enhanced vouchers” to subsidize their rents. Enhanced vouchers, however, will only be available to those current tenants who qualify, not future tenants. People who work here and provide essential services to support the neighborhood will effectively be priced-out.