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New Brighton Adds Dozens of Housing Units To Let Seniors Age With Dignity

John J. Carroll apartments were quite old and redeveloped to make them accessible for seniors and people with disabilities.

March 18, 2024

John J. Carroll apartments were brick public housing buildings that were built in 1966 along Chestnut Hill Avenue. The Boston Housing Authority revealed that the building has become obsolete after 50 years of use. The three-story walk-ups are no longer accessible for seniors and people with disabilities.

The Boston Housing Authority partnered with 2life Communities in 2019 to redevelop the apartments and double the number of affordable units for seniors. Consequently, the new J.J. Carroll House officially opened on Monday.

Along with a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE) Center for providing medical and recreation services to seniors, the complex has added 142 new senior living apartments. The ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new facility was held on Monday and all local and federal officials celebrated its opening.

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll put it, as “the intersection of housing affordability and being able to age in place with dignity.”

A 71-year-old resident named Beverly Gilbert felt that the new apartment in J.J. Carroll’s house took several years in the making. The senior resident had also applied to other 2Life communities in Brookline and Newton. Upon seeing the construction getting started on Chestnut Hill Avenue in 2020, she prayed for her application to be accepted during this time.

Gilbert at the opening ceremony said, “I would close my eyes and I would pray. I would say, ‘Father God, get me in there. I want to be over there. I want to be a 2Life girl”.

For 45 years, Gilbert served as a certified nursing assistant but got laid off in 2020. The same year she learned that she would have to get spinal surgery and had already had two knee replacements in the past. The old apartment had 14 stairs and she found it difficult to live in the apartment because of mobility issues.

That time was quite hard for her and she simply wished for a comfortable home. The lottery system selected 2life residents who would be put on the waiting lists that can go 2 years long. Fortunately, Gilbert’s application was accepted and she settled at the new J.J. Carroll House and met new people there.

The apartments at J.J. Carroll House are designed in such a way that they meet the physical needs of the residents along with the variety of income levels.

Gilbert said, “If 70 is when you start living and being more active, then bring it”.

MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay was all praises regarding this project and other affordable senior buildings as these buildings are not only improving seniors’ lives now but also in the future.

Kornegay said, “When we’re talking about this work, it’s generational work. It’s not just impacting Miss Beverly. It’s impacting Miss Beverly in 20, 30, 40, 50 years and allows us all to be better ancestors, to leave the place better than when we found it.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren believes that the commonwealth needs more projects like J.J. Carroll House to fix the housing crisis. She also said that she’ll continue to fight for federal funding to increase the availability of affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities.

Warren feels that more homes need to be built for seniors, people with disabilities, first-time homebuyers, veterans, and others.

Along with Warren, there were also local officials such as Boston Housing Authority Administrator Kenzie Bok, City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune, and Mayor Michelle Wu. Besides this, there were federal and state officials. The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday took place in the shadow of a new apartment building, designed by the MASS Design group.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Loss Hannah. “New Brighton seniors’ facility adds dozens of units to let residents age ‘with dignity”. WGBH, March 18, 2024,
New Brighton seniors’ facility adds dozens of units to let residents age ‘with dignity’ | GBH (wgbh.org)

Last Updated: September 20, 2021