Mixed-Income Rental, Public Housing

Total Development Cost:

$73 Million





A $22 million HOPE VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, awarded to the Taunton Housing Authority and Trinity Financial, combined with private equity resources and other public funds, made possible the transformation of the obsolete and deteriorated Fairfax Gardens public housing complex into a family-oriented development renamed Bristol Commons. The funding also provided for the creation of an apartment-style development in downtown Taunton, called Lenox Green, for seniors and others who prefer to be closer to public transit and other services.

Built in 1951, Fairfax Gardens was an isolated, 150-unit, barracks-style development on a 43-acre site, set in the midst of a low-density, single-family neighborhood. The buildings were clustered on a third of the site, with the remaining acreage open as meadows and wetlands. The distressed condition of the project not only affected the health and quality of life of the residents, but also had a negative impact on the nearby residential area. All of the existing buildings were demolished to allow for the creation of a new lower-density development that provides greatly improved living conditions for the residents and fits more comfortably with its surroundings.

The new Bristol Commons includes 80 townhomes and eight duplex dwellings, ranging in size from one to four bedrooms; 78 of the units are affordable to households earning up to 60% of the Taunton area median income, the other ten units rent at market rates with no income restrictions. The majority of families will require operating subsidies from THA and will pay 30% of their income as rent. A community center, community gardens, landscaped green space, a play area and basketball court, and other amenities help to create an attractive and welcoming environment.

Located in a transit-oriented development overlay district in downtown Taunton, Lenox Green includes 18 townhomes and a three-story, 54-unit mid-rise building with community space and management offices. Amenities include raised community planting beds, a playground, and walking paths that connect to local services. Unit sizes range from one to three bedrooms. All of the units at Lenox Green are affordable to households earning up to 60% of the Taunton area median income. As at Bristol Commons, very low-income residents will pay just 30% of their income as rent.

Permitting for Bristol Commons and Lenox Green required the City of Taunton’s special permit approval process, which included obtaining approvals from the Planning Board and variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals.


*NOTE Project completed by Mathieu Zahler as an employee of Trinity Financial.

Photography Credit: Andy Ryan