They are what give East Boston much of its character. Triple-deckers built at the turn of the last century provided blue-collar families the opportunity to own homes and keep family close. For decades the first, second and third floors of these unique architectural structures contained generations of the same family with grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and children all occupying the same home.
Many joke that Eastie’s triple-deckers where the neighborhood’s answer to the Kennedy Compound.
Now, Mayor Thomas Menino is looking to preserve these neighborhood icons through a new campaign that will help owners of Eastie’s triple-deckers with renovations.
Menino announced the new $3 million 3D Campaign this week at the Boston Home Center’s Housing Expo.
“I am proud that our $3M investment will give triple-decker owners the support they need to renovate their homes,” said Menino. “I also want to thank our lending partners for their $74M in mortgage commitments to help us preserve this iconic housing stock, and promote homeownership in Boston’s neighborhoods.”
The Department of Neighborhood Development’s Boston Home Center’s new 3D Campaign will offer up to $30,000 in loans and grants to assist triple-decker owner occupants with renovations to their homes. The City will also provide up to $20,000 down-payment assistance to income eligible households who want to purchase a triple-decker that they will reside in.
All 3D applicants and members will also receive a no-cost Renew Boston energy assessment and learn more about a range of discounted energy-saving measures and programs. In addition to the City of Boston’s investment the banking community committed up to $74 million in mortgage funding to help homebuyers purchase a triple-decker or to assist triple-decker owner occupants with renovations to their property.
Eastie’s triple-deckers were built over 125 years ago as an affordable housing staple for mill workers and emigrants.
With the recent downturn in the economy, many triple-decker owners have been unable to make critical repairs due to loss of equity. In addition, many interested buyers have struggled to secure mortgages to buy triple-deckers. This funding deficit led to many of the triple-deckers in Eastie and other parts of Boston to fall into disrepair. In response to this economic condition, Menino called on City departments and the banking community to launch a new campaign to preserve this important housing stock. This campaign will provide real assistance to homeowners while promoting this unique housing stock.
The 3D Campaign offers a wide range of benefits and services to help owners of triple-deckers make the most of their properties.
Menino said the heart of the 3D Program will depend on membership.
“To become a member, all that triple-decker owners have to do is go to the 3D website www.cityofboston.gov/3D ,” he said. “As a 3D Member, participants will receive a membership card that entitles them to discounts at a number of hardware stores across the city. Members will also be entitled to free classes at 3D University where owners will learn how to be effective landlords and how to repair their triple-deckers.”
Homeowners will also receive updates about new classes, discounts, and contests to promote triple-deckers. Financing for the 3-D program is coming from DND and the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
For more information about Boston Home Center programs visit www.bostonhomecenter.com.