HUD grants $1.8m to enhance commuter-rail line development

Reporter Staff
Dec. 1, 2011

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week announced a $1.8 million grant to the city of Boston for planning and land acquisition related to mixed-use and transit-orientated development along the Fairmount commuter rail line.

The grant is aimed at boosting the number of affordable housing units and reducing the number of vacant and abandoned properties along the line through acquisition and redevelopment of publicly or privately owned parcels.

The rail line runs for 9.2 miles, from South Station in downtown Boston to Hyde Park’s Readville neighborhood.

Mayor Thomas Menino and Congressman Michael Capuano joined HUD officials for the pre-Thanksgiving announcement on East Cottage Street, which is located between the existing Uphams Corner Station and the eventual Newmarket Station, which has been under construction. Stations are also being built on Blue Hill, Talbot, and Geneva avenues.

“This federal grant enhances the benefits of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line by providing funding to develop affordable housing and employment opportunities along the transit line,” Capuano said in statement. “Additional commuter rail stops are currently under construction and this grant will help give people access to homes, businesses, and jobs in close proximity to public transportation.”

An example of transit-orientated development on the Fairmount Line was highlighted by state officials earlier this year. The Levedo Building, in Codman Square and down the street from the proposed Talbot Avenue station, opened with 24 affordable rental units and commercial space on its ground level. Once an automotive business site, the 36,780-square foot space was turned into affordable units with the help of state and city-level funding.