“The purchase of 48 Boylston Street will allow us to create affordable housing in the heart of downtown Boston in a neighborhood that’s watched average rents skyrocket. Without an affordable home, finding a job and being an active member of the community is impossible. This building will strengthen our mission to provide pathways to stability for individuals experiencing homelessness.”
– Karen LaFrazia, President & CEO of St. Francis House
This project will create affordable housing, employment training and new jobs for homeless individuals, and expanded social services for vulnerable populations.
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Lots of work being done framing the interior to create layouts for affordable housing and administrative space. Duct work in progress as well as some exterior demolition to create staging for heavy construction equipment and building materials.
Contractors will continue demolition, and have also begun layout the upper floors, which means that the construction workers are setting up where the new walls will go. Each floor is now transforming from what used to be a warren of office cubicles into apartment units!
The month of February started off with Gilbane employees preparing the building for limited demolition. This internal demolition on each floor will allow us to reconfigure the space into affordable housing apartments.
By December 2018 construction will be far along to the point that 46 people who are experiencing homelessness or poverty will be moving into their new, affordable homes. Soon after, a much needed social enterprise will be part of this revitalized neighborhood, offering training and employment opportunities to those who need it most.
St. Francis House and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese of Boston are awarded funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to create 46 units of affordable housing at 48 Boylston Street.
On behalf of the Baker Administration, DHCD will support the project with a combination of Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will leverage approximately $11.8 million in equity, and $4,000,000 in various subsidies from DHCD. The City of Boston is also providing significant funding for the development.
“These affordable housing awards reflect our administration’s commitment to a stronger, more prosperous, and more inclusive Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By increasing affordable housing production, and stabilizing working families, low-income senior citizens and homeless families or those at risk, these housing awards will strengthen communities across Massachusetts.”
On April 8th, 2016 St. Francis House (SFH) purchased, in partnership with the Planning Office of Urban Affairs (POUA), the historic building located across the street on the edge of Chinatown and the Boston Common.
Karen LaFrazia, Executive Director of St. Francis House, said, “the purchase of 48 Boylston Street will allow us to create affordable housing in the heart of downtown Boston in a neighborhood that’s watched average rents skyrocket. Without an affordable home, finding a job and being an active member of the community is impossible. This building will strengthen our mission to provide pathways to stability for individuals experiencing homelessness.”
L to R: Miceal Chamberlain, Bank of America; Mayor Martin Walsh; Lisa Alberghini, POUA; Cardinal Seán O’Malley; Governor Charlie Baker; Secretary of Commonwealth William Galvin; and Karen LaFrazia, St. Francis House all sign a metal beam that will be installed during the renovation.
On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, we broke ground at 48 Boylston!
Cardinal O’Malley, Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh, POUA President Lisa Alberghini, and St. Francis House President & CEO Karen LaFrazia were joined by leaders from business, government, and the private sector to celebrate the groundbreaking of this affordable housing development in downtown Boston. Check out photos!
From the beginning, we knew there was no better use for the renovation of this building than creating affordable housing.
Five years ago St. Francis House and the Planning Office embarked on a partnership to develop affordable housing at 48 Boylston Street. Since the beginning we shared a vision to create new affordable housing for those who are working but struggle to live in a home they can afford, and for people experiencing homelessness, especially those who are chronically homeless, and to provide the supports necessary to ensure they could thrive in their new home.
We took advantage of a unique opportunity. It is not often that one project can accomplish so much.
This renovation will preserve a beautiful piece of architecture, create 46 new units of affordable housing, enable us to relocate our administrative offices so we can expand our support services across the street and will create a new street level business that will add to the vitality of the neighborhood and provide training and employment opportunities.
But fundamentally the redevelopment of this property into affordable housing is helping to build an inclusive neighborhood; one that values social and economic diversity where people of all means will live together.
Nothing is more destabilizing to a community and to a human life than homelessness and poverty and nothing does more to rebuild a life than ensuring that every person can have a home and live with dignity.
This historic renovation will preserve the stone and the spirit of this building. By using this building to create affordable housing we are ensuring that people will find stability in the lives and that everyone has a place in this community.
We are so thrilled that in just one short year, 46 men and women will call this building home!
Thank you to all of our partners for making this project possible.
From the very beginning, residents and business owners alike embraced this project.
We are grateful to all our elected officials, especially Mayor Walsh, Secretary Galvin and Governor Baker, for their support, making this project possible. Because of their leadership and commitment to affordable housing, men and women once homeless will live a new life contributing to and enjoying in the vitality and prosperity of this neighborhood.
Check out photos!
The property will be redeveloped by St. Francis House to provide much needed affordable housing in the community, creating 46 units of affordable housing.
The completed development will include units to serve people who have experienced homelessness, and others with very modest incomes. Twenty-six of the units will be reserved for individuals earning less than 30% of the area median income.
In addition to the current 56 units available through our Next Step Housing program, this project will bring the total number of affordable housing units at St. Francis House to 102.
A designated Boston Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building was constructed in 1875 and was operated by the BYMCU for more than 150 years to provide a variety of social, recreational and service programs.
In keeping with the building’s history, the 48 Boylston development will also provide benefits beyond housing. St. Francis House will also be adding to the vitality of the neighborhood with a street-level business venture creating important employment opportunities for homeless individuals served by St. Francis House.
Additionally, the development will allow St. Francis House to relocate its corporate offices from 39 Boylston Street to provide more robust support services on-site at St. Francis House.
Taken together, this building project will create badly needed affordable housing, employment training and new jobs for homeless individuals, and expanded social services for vulnerable populations.
How the tax law hurts charitable giving and affordable housing, February 8, 2018, Boston Globe Opinion
Historic Boston building gets blessing for housing, January 17, 2018, Boston Herald
Officials Celebrate Rarity: Affordable Housing in Downtown Boston, January 16, 2018, State House News Service
Governor Baker announces $90 million investment in affordable housing, August 16, 2016, Mass.Gov
Baker Administration Announces Affordable Housing Development Awards, August 16, 2016, Banker & Tradesman
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Affordable Housing Development Awards, August 16, 2016 RealEstateRama
Buscan vivienda para familias de bajos ingresos, August 16, 2016, Telemundo Boston with video (Spanish and English)
|Here are 26 Affordable Housing Projects that just got $90m in state money, August 16, 2016, Boston Business Journal|
|Affordable Housing Projects in Massachusetts Will Help Those In Need, August 15, 2016, NECN with videoclip|
|Baker administration awards $90 million to affordable housing projects, August 15, 2016, MassLive.com|
|Links sought between shelter and services with new affordable housing investment, August 15, 2016, Berkshire Eagle|
|$90M awarded to communities to house homeless families, August 15, 2016, Channel 22 with videoclip|
|State awards $90 million to 26 Affordable Housing Projects in Massachusetts, Aug 15, 2016, Beacon Hill Patch|