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BOSTON-Harvard University is generally viewed as a rich landowner in Allston where the Cambridge-based university has been buying large parcels to develop what it recently revealed will be a large new campus.

But the recent ground breaking of a 50-unit affordable housing complex at 33 Everett St. presents another side to the university. Harvard provided a gap financing grant of $2.8 million to the Allston Brighton Community Development Corp., which is building the project, to ensure that the nine-building complex could become reality. The project will be named the Brian J. Honan Apartments after the late city councilor who passed away in 2002.

The Allston Brighton Community Development Corp. bought the two 70,747 sf industrial properties in 2002 with the intention of demolishing the existing structures and creating new townhouse buildings.

Lauren Marshall, a spokesperson for Harvard, tells GlobeSt.com that the university has a history of helping to develop affordable housing. “This is just a way that Harvard can contribute to the city’s housing,” she says.

This project also received some financing from Harvard’s 20/20/2000 initiative in which the university has committed $21 million over 20 years to support affordable housing in Cambridge and Boston.

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