News & Updates

Boston housing development honored for affordable and workforce housing from Urban Land Institute

Oct 04, 2017

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the Mosaic on the Riverway, a mixed-income 145-unit residential building, has been awarded the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing’s 2017 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. The annual award, which honors developments that ensure housing affordability for people in a broad range of incomes, is provided to developments in which all or a portion of the units are affordable to households earning up to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI). Mosaic on the Riverway is located at 80 Fenwood Road, on the corner of Brookline Avenue and the Riverway.

Mosaic on the Riverway is the result of a joint venture between the City of Boston, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Partner’s Healthcare (BWH) and The Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH) to provide mixed-income housing, community space and child care on a two-acre site that is within close proximity to jobs, transit and open space. This project was made possible by a more than $6 million investment by the City of Boston, including nearly $2 million in housing linkage funds created by Brigham Building for the Future, nearly $3 million provided by the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) and $1 million from the Neighborhood Housing Trust. Total development cost was more than $63 million.The site was obtained by the partnership through a ground lease from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

"Mosaic on Riverway was a critical project to create new affordable housing for our residents, and I thank the Urban Land Institute for recognizing our work on this project,” said Mayor Walsh. "We will continue to work every day to lift up every neighborhood in Boston by making sure all residents and their families have accessible and affordable housing options."

Mosaic on the Riverway includes 145 new units of housing, with 60 of the units affordable to those earning less than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and 43 new home ownership  condominiums for residents earning 60 to 120 percent of AMI.  The new building also addresses a childcare shortage in the Mission Hill area by creating a 9,000-square foot early childhood education center located on the ground floor that serves 90 children and is operated by the YMCA of Boston.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) informed the planning context and design for the development with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and facilitated the development review and housing linkage funds for the project.  As part of it's funding, DND coordinated development financial underwriting, development and design review and construction and permanent loan closings. 

The building meets LEED Silver, Energy Star, and Enterprise Green Community standards. Pedestrian enhancements created pathways and sitting areas and a play space in Mission Hill.  This project revitalizes a portion of the Mission Hill community, bringing the entire site back to productive use.

ULI established the Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award in 2008, naming the award in memory of Jack Kemp, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and ULI Terwilliger Center national advisory board member. The award is given annually to affordable and workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including affordability, innovative financing and building technologies, proximity to employment centers and transportation hubs, quality of design, involvement of public/private partnerships, and replicability of the development, among other criteria.

“One of the goals in establishing the ULI Kemp Award program was to show the critical role that housing plays in achieving economic prosperity and a high quality of life, both for individuals and communities,” said J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing and a former ULI chairman. “If a family is constantly worried about housing, then being healthy, getting educated, and staying employed is never much of an option. A family with a stable housing situation is a family with a chance. Housing is the foundation from which everything else takes root.”

“Mixed-income housing is a good business and good for communities,” said Stockton Williams, ULI executive vice president for content and executive director of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing. “These award-winning developments reflect the innovation and leadership that have characterized the ULI Kemp Award since its inception.”  

“As an organization committed to providing quality housing and services in the the Mission Hill community, we are thrilled to be able to work with our partners to build Mosaic which has provided much needed affordable homeownership and rental opportunities,” said Karen Gately, Executive Director of The Roxbury Tenants of Harvard. 

A video of the awards ceremony can be found here.

By the year 2030, Boston will reach more than 700,000 residents, a number the City has not seen since the 1950s. Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 is the Walsh Administration's comprehensive housing plan to reach 53,000 new units of housing at a variety of income levels across the City.

About the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing
The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing conducts research, performs analysis, provides expert advice, and develops best practice recommendations that reflect the residential land use and development priorities of ULI members in all residential product types, with special attention to workforce and affordable housing. The center was established in 2007 with a gift from longtime ULI member and former ULI chairman J. Ronald Terwilliger.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, visit or follow us onTwitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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