Affordable Housing Finance Magazine 2019 Readers’ Choice Award: Historic Rehab Category – The Union at 48 Boylston

We are excited to announce that The Union at 48 Boylston was chosen as the historic rehab winner in Affordable Housing Finance magazines 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards!

The Union at 48 Boylston was the result of a partnership between St. Francis House, the largest day shelter for adults experiencing homelessness in the City of Boston, and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs (POUA).


Purchased in 2016, 48 Boylston has since been completely redeveloped by St. Francis House and POUA to provide much needed affordable housing in the community, creating 46 units of affordable housing. The completed development includes units to serve people who have experienced homelessness and others with very modest incomes. Twenty-six of the units are reserved for individuals earning less than 30% of the area median income.

Man stands in his kitchen in The Union at 48 looking happy and comfortable
Stephen has been a happy resident of The Union since May 2019. “Feeling at home… there’s just nothing like it. I have my own couch, I have my own bed. I get to put art on my walls. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

A designated Boston Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building was constructed in 1875 and was originally operated by the Boston Young Men’s Christian Union (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 including new employment training opportunities through a partnership with The Urban Hound, a dog day care facility, and the ability to establish a brand-new recovery support center at St. Francis House. 

Taken together, this building project has not only created critical affordable housing, but has opened the doors for St. Francis House to explore and implement new employment training and expand our social services for the vulnerable populations of Boston.

Read more about the AHF 2019 Readers Choice Awards:

St. Francis House is excited to attend the AHF Live: 2019 Affordable Housing Developers Summit and award ceremony November 18 – 20 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

Developers: Planning Office for Urban Affairs and St. Francis House

Architect: The Architectural Team

General Contractor: Gilbane Construction 

Major Funders: Bank of America Merrill Lynch; commonwealth of Massachusetts (Department of Housing and Community Development, Community Economic Development Assistance Corp., and MassHousing); city of Boston (Department of Neighborhood Development and Neighborhood Housing Trust); Massachusetts Historical Commission; National Park Service; Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; Eastern Bank