Brighton, MA – July 18, 2019 – Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh together with state and municipal officials joined 2Life Communities at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of two major projects on 2Life’s Brighton campus. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg House provides 61 affordable apartments for low-income older adults, including those who are formerly chronically homeless and seniors with life-long developmental disabilities. The Kurlat House modernization preserved affordability, and included upgraded systems and renovated apartments in the 209-unit building, as well as a beautifully landscaped courtyard for resident and neighborhood enjoyment.
It’s great to return to 2Life Communities here in Brighton for this ribbon cutting to celebrate the preservation of 209 and construction of 61 new apartments for older adults,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We were proud to be here last year to sign the largest housing bond bill in the history of the Commonwealth, and are pleased to return as we continue to collaborate with public and private partners to spur more housing development for people of all income levels as we seek to address the Commonwealth’s housing crisis."
“Creating and preserving affordable housing in Boston, especially for older Bostonians, is one of our key priorities here in Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “Older residents helped create the world-class city we live in today, and deserve to continue to live in their communities in affordable, supportive homes. I'm proud of the City of Boston's commitment to this project, and thank 2Life Communities, the Weinberg Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, and all partners who made this possible.”
Joining Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh at the ribbon cutting event were Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs Elizabeth Chen, Undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development Janelle Chan, Executive Director of MassHousing Chrystal Kornegay, Mass Housing Partnership Executive Director Clark Ziegler, Co-chair of the Housing Committee of the General Court Kevin Honan, Boston City Councilor At-Large Annissa Essaibi George, and City Councilor Mark Ciommo.
We are so grateful to the Weinberg Foundation, Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh, and our multiple funding and community partners. These two projects, creating and preserving 270 affordable homes that provide the platform for ‘aging in community,’ are only possible because of the extensive partnerships between the State, the City, the array of housing lending organizations, and generous philanthropists,” said Amy Schectman, President & CEO of 2Life Communities. “We share a belief that everyone should have access to a home, age affordably, and live well in a true community."
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg House
Weinberg House opened in April, 2019, and added 61 high quality, affordable apartments on 2Life Communities’ Brighton campus, which now has a total of 763 units for low-income older adults. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg House is the first building in the City of Boston’s Initiative to End Chronic Homelessness to have apartments designated for chronically homeless seniors. The building also has five apartments for adults aging with lifelong developmental disabilities.
Weinberg House was funded with a generous donation from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity, deferred payment loans and grants from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston, and a first mortgage from Mass Housing Partnership.
Kurlat House Renovation
2Life Communities recently completed the $35 million renovation and modernization of all 209 apartments occupied by low-income older adults in the Gitta and Saul Kurlat House, which was built in 1978. Residents and staff were actively engaged in the design process, and the results are resident-centric interior and exterior spaces. The renovations included green-friendly lighting and energy systems and upgraded the kitchens and bathrooms with universal design features that support 2Life’s “aging in community” model. The building’s courtyard was completely rebuilt to make it fully accessible, and now features senior-friendly exercise equipment, community gardens, seating, game tables, a walking path, and beautiful plantings. In addition, 2Life preserved the affordability of all 209 apartments.
About 2Life Communities
2Life Communities, a nonprofit organization founded in 1965, operates on the belief that all seniors should have the opportunity to live a full life of connection and purpose in a dynamic, supportive environment – a model we call “aging in community,” which directly combats the growing public health crisis of social isolation and loneliness amongst older adults. At 2Life Communities, residents can step out the doors of their own apartments and find friendship, community, physical and intellectual stimulation, and a helping hand day or night. Serving a diverse population of over 1,500 older adults, 2Life creates communities with a laser sharp focus on affordability – a tremendous concern given that Massachusetts is the state with the 2nd largest gap in the U.S. between seniors’ median income and the cost of living.