2010 Boston Housing Authority Contracts: A Closer Look

The BHA’s BFFs making big bucks on heaters, fire alarms and more

Written by Michael Morisy

The Boston Housing Authority is, by the government organization’s own admission, Boston’s largest landlord with thousands of contracts totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for services ranging from elevator maintenance to fire alarm replacements to the building of all-new affordable housing.

The $10 Million Plus Club

According to the released data, 14 different companies had individual contracts worth over $10 million dollars with BHA, including three won by Suffolk Construction Company. One of those projects, the most costly contract at over $75 million, appears to have been for RFP #02D-BR-006, “to build 133 rental housing units and a Management Office facility at the BHA’s West Broadway Development in South Boston.”

Other high-dollar contract awards appear to have been won for a wide variety of services:

  • $11,021,988 for fire alarm replacement by Jupiter Electric, Inc.
  • $63,407,776 for a conservation services contract with Ameresco, Inc.
  • $11,606,600 for boiler and water heater upgrades with P.J. Kennedy & Sons.

When looking at these numbers, a few aspects of the data are important to keep in mind. First, it was compiled by a human based on 2010 Boston Housing Authority contracts. Like any data entry project, typographical and clerical errors are possible and even probable, particularly with a data set of almost 5,000 entries.

Second, a lot of the data is not necessarily the final totals: Over 800 entries, for example, included notes entry signified the total was “increased by”, “increase of,’ or another variation:

Can you hear me now?

The Housing Contracts were not all money out, however: At least 7 entries show money received: $1,500 for a licensing agreement with Lundermac Multi-Housing Laundry System, entries marked as compliance or accessibility. And then there’s the big one. Sprint PCS apparently shelled out $95,564.40 for a cell tower lease. Other payment arrangements were not as giving: The payments from or to Verizon for “Agreement between BHA and Verizon” are left blank. Sprint PCS has another tower lease with the payment field left blank, while both Nextel and Sprint PCS have rooftop leases noted as “$500 to BHA”.

Others contracts were decreased, or had the time frames extended or decreased. The full data set is available at the top of the original request page.


Image via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0