Public Housing

There are 3 public housing family developments in South Boston:

  1. West Broadway
  2. Old Colony
  3. Mary Ellen

These developments house nearly 2-thousand families comprising about 43-hundred members. Nearly half are younger than 24, with the largest single population aged 6-13. The median income of the 3 housing developments was $14K in 2015. 2018 figures show a 3-thousand-dollar DROP, to $11K! Median income for gentrified South Boston is $87K. The average market rent is more than $3K (for a 2-bedroom condo). Public housing rents are capped about a-third of income.

Summer 2017 ushered a spike in gun violence across all 3 public housing family developments…

At West Broadway, two shooting incidents made the news in 2017.  In one, a young victim was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Despite a constant VISIBLE (and invisible) police presence, another shooting 2 weeks later in bright late-summer daylight caused pandemonium among families/kids playing outside. This who went up the street firing, hid the gun in the neighboring Condon School, (K-8).  Similar incidents at the Old Colony and Mary Ellen leave young teens and others dead, jailed or paralyzed.

Summer 2018 started off with a homicide at West Broadway, where a bullet entered a second floor classroom at the Condon School.  In one of the many instances of gun violence, (including shots fired with no deaths/injuries) police recovered a gun in a back courtyard…

In addition to gun violence, which often requires a constant police presence 24/7…these 3 public housing family developments are wracked by drug use/drug dealing and related crime/drama (ambulances, fire, EMT’s making calls for overdoses, police calls, drug busts) as well as apathy, civic disengagement and economic stagnation.

Young people with nothing to do (despite an abundance of resources in our neighborhood) or who see themselves being hemmed in by lack of opportunity, “hang out” with peers (who often come from the outside) and congregate in the corridors and other areas to smoke marijuana (now legal in Massachusetts).  These negative influences are linked to gangs which are responsible for much of the tension in the area…

Phya seeks to motivate TENANTS to STEP UP and become the agents of their own change.