The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) has targeted its 200-unit Whittier Street Apartments public housing development and the surrounding Whittier neighborhood for a FY 2012 Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) planning grant. The Whittier neighborhood, located at the northern end of Boston’s Roxbury community, is a place of contradictions and untapped opportunities. The neighborhood’s nearly 2,500 households are some of the poorest in the city, with a poverty rate of 47%, and a crime rate that is 2.7 times that of the city. More than 600 public housing families live in the area known for chronic unemployment, underperforming schools, and multigenerational poverty.
Whittier offers a variety of living arrangements for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in both low- and mid-rise buildings. Whittier offers 200 units, ranging from one to four bedroom apartments. Rents are calculated at 30% of a resident’s income. Residents have the option of choosing a flat rent as well.