Mayor Walsh announces Boston’s first LGBTQ-supported senior housing development

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barton rogers school senior housing
A rendering of the development. Courtesy of the City of Boston

Boston’s first LGBTQ-supported senior housing is on its way to Hyde Park.

The development will be housed in the former William Barton Rogers Middle School, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced in a news release Wednesday.

“As Boston’s residents continue to age, the need for safe, affordable housing that is welcoming to all remains essential,” Walsh said. “This new development will be an incredible asset to the neighborhood, offering seniors housing, along with community gardens, walking trails, and other community benefits. I look forward to our work ahead to make more of these projects a reality.”

With a $33 million price tag, the development will create 74 income-restricted rental units for seniors, as well as an arts studio, community gardens, and gallery and recreational spaces for residents and community members alike. Anyone 62 years or older will be able to rent the units, specifically those who identify as LGBTQ.

All of the units will be permanently deed-restricted and provide housing for seniors across a spectrum of income levels. Eight units will be rented to households or individuals who are homeless or require rental assistance. Eight “deeply affordable” units will be rented to seniors whose annual income roughly falls between $25,000 and $40,000, while 34 units will be rented to households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (about $55,000 for a two-person household). Eight units will be rented to households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income, and 16 will be rented to households earning up to 100 percent of the area median income.

Pennrose Development and LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. are in charge of transforming the 19-century building, and the companies have worked with Hyde Park residents to match their needs, according to the release.

Barton Rogers School was built on 74,000 square feet of land in 1899. It was named in honor of William Barton Rogers, a geologist, physicist, and educator who was the primary founder and first president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. The building, which operated as a Boston public school for more than a century, was expanded in 1920 and again in 1934. Before closing its doors in June 2015, the school put an emphasis on performing arts and inclusivity.

The upcoming 74 units are some of Boston’s 350 senior-housing units in the development pipeline. An additional 310 are under construction. This housing production is part of Walsh’s housing strategy, House a Changing City: Boston 2030, which aims to create 2,000 new units for low-income seniors by 2030.

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