St. Francis House is excited to announce our purchase of the former Boston Young Men’s Christian Union (BYMCU) building at 48 Boylston Street in Boston.
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.
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.
The property will be redeveloped by St. Francis House to provide much needed affordable housing in the community, creating 46 units of affordable housing. While providing affordable housing, the rehabilitation will preserve the building’s historic façade and some of the interior architectural features.
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.”
“Providing permanent housing for the homeless and workers priced out of the market is a critical need. We’re redeveloping this building to provide permanent housing for individuals who can’t afford Boston’s very high housing costs,” said Lisa B. Alberghini, President of POUA. “Our goal is to carry on the mission of the Union by providing for people in need, and by offering housing for those who would otherwise be forced out of the neighborhood.”
For over 30 years, St. Francis House has been serving and advocating for those living in poverty and experiencing homelessness. The completion of this project will bring the total number of affordable housing units at St. Francis House to 102. St. Francis House will also be adding to the vitality of the neighborhood with a street-level business venture creating employment opportunities.