The work of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs can be seen in 39 developments throughout the Greater Boston area in such award-winning properties as Rollins Square and St. John of God. As a developer with an over 40-year track record of experience, the Office is committed to building permanent affordable housing for seniors, families, special needs populations, the working poor and the homeless. Our primary focus is on permanent housing, rather than on shelter or other temporary housing, because the only way to build vibrant communities and eliminate homelessness over the long run is to provide permanently affordable homes for all those in need. In this way, we offer opportunities for people to have secure homes and the stability required to raise healthy families and become full members of a supportive and nurturing community.
In addition to focusing on permanent homes, the Planning Office works to develop mixed-income housing whenever possible, or residential communities with economic diversity, in order to eliminate concentrations of poverty. We also strive to develop housing in all types of communities - urban and suburban, affluent and not - so poor people have housing choices. When we are able to develop housing in communities with good school systems, jobs, and retail and recreational resources, we offer much more than basic homes - we offer access to quality education, employment opportunities, youth activities and additional benefits that people of limited means may not otherwise have. This approach supports the whole person and encourages healthy, strong families with connections to community.
While those are our objectives, they cannot all be accomplished in every development. Some financing program requirements can make economic diversity nearly impossible. Poorer areas in which we develop may have limited educational or job opportunities. Nonetheless, we work to improve the living situation of the people we serve in whatever way possible, in every engagement.