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The Pryde Celebrates Grand Opening, Creating Boston’s First LGBTQ-Affirming Senior Affordable Housing Community

Jul 01, 2024


Ribbon Cutting Cropped

 Historic rehabilitation transforms the former Rogers Middle School into vibrant mixed-income, mixed-use community

LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc., Pennrose, City of Boston, local officials, and project partners celebrated Pride Month with the grand opening of The Pryde, Boston’s first LGBTQ-affirming affordable housing community for seniors aged 62 and older. Located in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood, The Pryde has transformed the historic Rogers Middle School site into a vibrant community of 74 mixed-income rental homes with on-site amenities, supportive services, and a community center run by LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc.

Speakers at the grand opening celebration included: Mayor Michelle Wu, City of Boston; Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Secretary Edward Augustus Jr., Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Representative Robert Consalvo, 14th Suffolk District, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Ruthzee Louijeune, City Council President, Boston City Council; Ryan Sfreddo, Chief Executive Officer, Red Stone Equity Partners; Philippe Saad, Vice President, LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. Board & Principal, DiMella Shaffer; Charlie Adams, Regional Vice President, Pennrose; Aileen Montour, President, LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc.; Gretchen Van Ness, Executive Director, LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc.

The Pryde includes studio, one-, and two-bedroom modern apartments available to households earning less than 30% to less than 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI), about $36,690 to $103,900 for a one-person household. Several apartments will be set aside for the formerly homeless and 60% of the units will give preference to current Boston residents at initial lease-up.

"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.”

“This is an historic moment for the Commonwealth, the City of Boston, and the Hyde Park neighborhood,” said Charlie Adams, regional vice president, Pennrose. “This renovated community asset, a monument for the community, represents the hard work of many and would not be possible without the financial support of numerous funders, including the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Massachusetts Historical Commission, MassHousing, and the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing, among others. The school had outlived its previous life, but will continue to serve as a community resource and affirming housing for another 100 years.”

“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 U.S. 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."

Residents will have access to robust on-site amenities, including resident lounges, sunroom, large event and gallery spaces, classrooms for continued learning, a fitness center, on-site laundry, an outdoor courtyard, and more. Hyde Park’s 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company A, a 501(c)(3) reenactment organization, will have office and display space in the building. LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc. will also provide on-site programming and supportive services to support aging in place for all elders, including LGBTQ seniors, and will host local events, meetings, activities, and workshops in the on-site community center.

The brand-new apartments feature modern kitchens with a dishwasher and electric range, spacious closets, and central A/C. In addition to on-site amenities, The Pryde is located near shops, restaurants, and a variety of cultural and outdoor amenities, including the Riverside Theatre Works, Menino Arts Center, YMCA, Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream, and the public library. The community is also close to two MBTA commuter rail stops serving the Fairmont and Providence lines.

LGBTQ older adults are statistically more likely to experience housing, financial, and food insecurity compared to other seniors. They are less likely to have robust support networks and more likely to have experienced discrimination and harassment in housing. Too many LGBTQ elders are forced back into the closet as they age. The Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Aging identified housing as the number one concern of LGBTQ seniors. With an estimated 65,000 LGBTQ older adults living in Massachusetts, The Pryde will be the first community of its kind in the region, fulfilling a critical unmet need.

Financing for The Pryde includes funding from the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Preservation Act funding, soft loans and State and Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, State Historic Tax Credits from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and Federal Historic Credits from the National Park Service. TD Bank, facilitated through Redstone Equity, provided equity for all of the State and Federal Low Income and Historic Tax Credits, as well as construction financing. Massachusetts Housing Partnership is providing the permanent loan. Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation provided the loan for State Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and State Historic Tax Credit equity.

The Community and Economic Development Assistance Corporation and MassHousing oversaw the Commonwealth’s Community Based Housing funding and Affordable Housing Trust Funds, respectively. Grants from Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Farnsworth Family Trust, Liberty Mutual, and LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc. completed the financing.

The development team includes: Dimella Shaffer, Architect; NEI, General Contractor; Mikyoung Kim Design, Landscape Architect; Nitsch Engineering, Civil/Traffic Engineer; PAL, Historic Consultant; DAC/Hillmann, Environmental Consultant; Thornton Tomasetti, Sustainability Consultant; Innova Services Corporation, Construction Manager; and Klein Hornig, Legal Counsel. The property will be managed by Pennrose Management Company.

Pennrose is committed to delivering high-quality, inclusive housing for families and seniors across New England and throughout the country. In addition to The Pryde, Pennrose operates LGBTQ-affirmative senior housing at John C. Anderson in Philadelphia and John Arthur Flats in Cincinnati, with several more communities in the works.