BOSTON (AP) — A Boston development that’s billed as New England’s first LGBTQ-friendly senior affordable housing project broke ground Friday.
The Pryde will convert the former William Barton Rogers Middle School in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood into 74 units of mixed-income housing for seniors.
The project is being built by developer Pennrose and LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit. It’s expected to welcome its first guests late next year.
The organizations say there’s a “high need” for LGBTQ-friendly housing because LGBTQ seniors are less likely to have children or a family network to care for them.
LGBTQ seniors face higher rates of housing discrimination, lower incomes, higher unemployment and increased food insecurity while dealing with the legacy of trauma and social isolation with fewer traditional supports, according to Aileen Montour, president of LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc.
“Our older adults especially appreciate the opportunity to live authentically and unapologetically in a supportive community,” Montour said.
The project will preserve the original 1899 building and its two additions from 1920 and 1934. The building served as a high school and later as a middle school before closing in 2015.
All units will be deed-restricted in perpetuity and will provide affordable, safe housing for seniors across a wide variety of incomes, according to the city.
“This new development will be an incredible asset to the neighborhood, offering not just housing, but gardens, walking trails, an art studio with gallery space, and other community benefits to truly make our LGBTQ+ seniors feel at home,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a written statement.
Funding for the project includes $3.8 million from the state Department of Housing and Community Development and $4 million from the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing.
Of the 74 total income-restricted rental units, eight will be rented to families or individuals who are homeless.
Another three will be affordable units for seniors with incomes up to 30% of the area median income while seven units will be available to those earning 50% AMI. The remaining units will go to households earning from less than 60% AMI to 100% AMI.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the state is thrilled to be investing state and federal funds to increase housing opportunities in the state.
“The Pryde in Hyde Park is the first of its kind in Massachusetts to provide tailored housing for our LGBTQ neighbors to age in this vibrant neighborhood,” Polito said.