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Mayor Wu, Senator Warren, Lieutenant Governor Driscoll, Local Elected Officials and Residents celebrated the Grand Opening of The Pryde in Hyde Park

Renovated former Boston Public School building creates 74 LGBTQ-friendly mixed-income apartments for older Boston residents and over 10,000 square feet of community space

 

Mayor Michelle Wu today joined Senator Elizabeth Warren, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, Pennrose, LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc., local elected officials and residents for the grand opening of The Pryde, Massachusetts’ first LGBTQ-affirming, income restricted housing community for seniors. The Pryde, located in Hyde Park, converted the historic former William Barton Rogers Middle School into a vibrant new community for Bostonians aged 62 and older, with 74 income-restricted rental homes and a 10,000 square foot Community Center which will host programming and services for the residents as well as local events, meetings, activities and workshops for the wider Hyde Park community. 

“Making Boston a home for everyone means ensuring that residents can live in the City they love with safe, affordable housing that is welcoming to all,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This new development is an incredible asset to the neighborhood, offering not just beautiful new housing, but also access to gardens, an art studio with gallery space, and an active community space. As we celebrate Pride Month, this is a shining example of how Boston can breathe new life into existing spaces for the benefit of our residents.”

“Republicans tried their very best to slash funding for this project, but we fought back and secured this powerfully important investment,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. The Pryde will be a transformative addition to the community that gives LGBTQ+ seniors access to the safe, welcoming, and affordable housing that they deserve.”

"Last summer, I was able to tour this space while it was still in the works, and I am thrilled to be here today to celebrate its official ribbon cutting! The Pryde will serve as an incredible reminder of the importance of inclusive, equitable and affordable housing," said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. "This new building offers an affordable space for LGBTQ+ seniors and provides them with a built-in community where they will always feel seen and included. We're grateful to all of the partners who helped bring this building to life."

The redevelopment of the former Barton Rogers School was led by the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing, the development team at Pennrose and LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc., all of whom worked extensively with the local community in Hyde Park to address the needs of the neighborhood. The Pryde is New England's first LBGTQ friendly housing for older residents and is located near shops and restaurants and a variety of cultural and outdoor amenities, including the Menino Arts Center, the public library, and two MBTA commuter rail stops serving the Fairmont and Providence lines. 

“Today marks a monumental step forward for inclusion and diversity in Boston. The grand opening of the city's first LGBTQ-affirming affordable senior housing community fulfills a critical need for our most vulnerable older adults,” said Gretchen Van Ness, executive director, LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc. “The Pryde is more than just apartments - it is a community where everyone, no matter who they love or how they identify, can live with dignity.” 

“We are honored to be part of this historic moment,” said Charlie Adams, regional vice president, Pennrose. “This renovated community asset is a monument to the hard work of so many and would not be possible without the financial support of numerous funders including the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Massachusetts Historic Commission, MassHousing, and the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing among others. This former public school had outlived its previous life, but can continue to serve Hyde Park as a community resource and brand-new housing for another 100 years.”

To create the Pryde, development teams renovated the former William Barton Rogers Middle School, which was built in 1899 on 74,000 square feet of land. The original building was expanded twice, once in 1920, and then again in 1934. In more than 100 years of its operation as a Boston Public School, it served as a high school, and later a middle school. Before its closure in June 2015, the Rogers School, as the neighborhood refers to it, focused  on the performing arts and building an inclusive environment.

"The Mayor's Office of Housing is profoundly grateful to the Hyde Park community, Pennrose, and LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. for their unwavering dedication in partnering with us to reimagine and transform the historic William Barton Rogers Middle School into The Pryde," said Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon. "This beautifully restored development not only preserves an important city asset but also creates a vibrant, affordable, and inclusive home for our older residents and LGBTQ community. The Pryde stands as an example of Boston's commitment to diversity, equity, and community, and we look forward to it serving as a place of hope and belonging for generations to come."

"We are incredibly proud to have supported the development of The Pryde through the Community Preservation Act funds,” said Felicia Jacques, Chair of the Community Preservation Committee This groundbreaking project not only preserves a piece of Boston's history by revitalizing the former William Barton Rogers Middle School, but it also embodies our commitment to creating inclusive, affordable housing for our senior residents. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this vibrant new community will have on Hyde Park."

The new residences include one and two-bedroom apartments on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors.  Each apartment is a renovated former classroom, and is designed to be accessible and barrier free: bathrooms are large enough to accommodate mobility devices, kitchens are equipped with wall ovens for ease of access, and levered door handles and cabinet pulls throughout the homes facilitate use by people with arthritis. The renovated building also has elevators for accessibility, central air, on-site laundry facilities, resident lounges, a sun room, large event and gallery spaces, classrooms for continued learning and a fitness center. 

“Older people in Boston deserve to live in a welcoming, accessible home where they can live and age with dignity,” said Emily K. Shea, Boston's Age Strong Commissioner. “The Pryde will not only provide the accessible features and living spaces needed for older people to live well, but it will also build community with its welcoming spaces for activity and social connection."

Residents and community members will benefit from public community space and activities programming overseen by LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc. that supports vibrant aging in place for all elders. The residents in the building and community members over 62 are able to benefit from community meals, adult learning programs, art classes, access to the community room and green spaces. Residents of the building will have exclusive access to 24 hour staffing, a general store, a fitness center, and organized transportation options for appointments. 

“I am very pleased that HUD is part of the team that helped bring this critically important and much needed project to fruition,” said HUD New England Regional Administrator Juana B. Matias. “The Biden-Harris Administration and HUD are committed to ensuring affordable, equitable and inclusive housing for all Americans, and the rehabilitation and re-purposing of the former William Barton Rogers School into Massachusetts’ first LGBTQ-affirming income restricted housing community for seniors helps achieve this goal and serves as a model for other developers and municipalities to follow.”

The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment of reenactors of Hyde Park, will have an office along with a display of infantry equipment in the building. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of Black soldiers to be raised in the North during the Civil War. The 54th Regiment of reenactors consists of volunteers, including amateur historians, who are dedicated to preserving the history of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and Black soldiers in the Civil War. The 54th Company aims to honor the experiences of Black Civil War soldiers through living history activities, such as reenactments and educational programs that  foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of that history.

In accordance with the City of Boston’s Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), The Pryde includes energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as Energy Star rated appliances, and has environmentally friendly design features throughout. 

Of the 74 total income-restricted rental units in the Pryde, eight are dedicated to households who are exiting homelessness or who require rental assistance. Another three are deeply affordable units for seniors with incomes up to 30% Area Median Income (AMI), seven units will be available to households earning 50% AMI, and thirty-two units are available to a two-person household earning less than 60% AMI, eight households earning up to 80% AMI, and sixteen units will be set aside for 100% AMI.   

Funding for the Pryde development was provided by the City of Boston through the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Community Preservation Act Fund, the Boston Planning & Development Agency, The Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Advancement and the Age Strong Commission. The state provided financing from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, the MA Office of Grants and Research and the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Federal funds were provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additional funding was provided by Massachusetts Housing Partnership, Red Stone Equity Partners, TD Bank, the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), Eastern Bank Foundation, Needham Bank, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Boston Foundation, The Charles H. Farnsworth Trust, Gilead Sciences, Stonewall Sports, Gay for Good, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Offices of Senator Liz Miranda and Representative Rob Consalvo, The Kuehn Charitable Fund, Club Cafe, Hyde Park Main Streets, the National Park Service and the LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. Board of Directors

About the Mayor’s Office of Housing:

The Mayor’s Office of Housing is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, creating and preserving affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can obtain, maintain, and remain in safe, stable housing. The department develops and implements the City of Boston’s housing creation and homelessness prevention plans and collaborates with local and national partners to find new solutions and build more housing affordable to all, particularly those with lower incomes. For more information, please visit the MOH website.

About the Community Preservation Act (CPA)

After Boston voters adopted the CPA in November 2016, the City created a Community Preservation Fund, primarily funded by a 1% property tax surcharge on residential and business properties starting in July 2017. This revenue supports affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space and public recreation projects, aligned with statewide CPA guidelines. Projects require a recommendation from the Community Preservation Committee and City appropriation. For more information, visit the Community Preservation webpage

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