Hey, there! Log in / Register

BPDA approves plan to convert Morrissey Boulevard hotel into housing for the formerly homeless

The Dorchester Reporter reports the BPDA board today unanimously approved a plan to turn the Comfort Inn at 900 Morrissey Boulevard into 99 apartments. Under the proposal by Pine Street Inn and The Community Builders, the building would have full-time staff to help residents adjust to their new lives.

The two groups are building a similar, but larger, apartment building on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain. Unlike in Jamaica Plain, where the main opposition came from a landlord across the street concerned about parking, the Dorchester proposal was strongly opposed by nearby residents, who said they didn't want people one step removed from homelessness in their neighborhood.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 


Ad:


Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

omg poor people might live here. (gasp)

You know people likes to complain about Mass & Cass or how the homeless are taking over the T. They are like "do something now".

Well here's a ready-made project. Converting it to a micro apartment building wouldn't be a long build. This is something that could be done in months to help folks.

Of course, people wants 'things done now', as long as it's not done near them.

jfc people.

up
Voting closed 1

I support this project but it's not all pie in the sky.

And I live very close to it. not in another city.

There was recently a homeless intruder at the Murphy School.

Within eyesight if not rock-throwing distance from the project.

There are legitimate concerns from the true neighbors.

I hope they're resolved and the project moves forward but outsider opinions are kind of useless in this circumstance.

up
Voting closed 1

This project is the solution not the problem. We have no legal right to keep any nonprofit or government from filling up this hotel with homeless people. Nobody asked Neponset when the Ramada Inn was taken over by a Quincy shelter. It is counter productive to block it.

This project wants to staff the comfort inn with security and counselors to support the people living there. And this project is for people that need an elevator building. Elderly and disabled people. They are going be mostly current Pine Street Inn tenants that can't walk up the stairs anymore. Stop fearmongering.

up
Voting closed 1

Enough with the anti-unhoused fearmongering. All it does is make you feel better and like you won't possibly ever be in their situation.

It does nothing about the actual situation - increasing the likelihood that someday you will share that situation.

up
Voting closed 2

Maybe you missed that part of my comment.
How is it fear-mongering to raise legit concerns?
This is the first I'm hearing that all residents will be in wheelchairs.
And I have, in fact, been homeless.
And am eternally grateful to the organizations that helped me then.

And in response to cinnamon girl:

I've been on this site for at least 13 yrs and have submitted many photos to Adam.
I choose to remain anonymous online.
You know, so people don't know where I grew up, went to school and which branch of the military I was in.

up
Voting closed 0

Having a username means that Adam has your email, not a map to your house. Your comments are dishonest. The intruder did not come from a staffed program. If you want to respond to my comments, then read them more thoroughly.

up
Voting closed 1

But I’ve long said that the loudest people on Mass and Cass don’t actually want a fix, they just don’t want to see icky people.

up
Voting closed 3

They actually don't want people shooting up in front of their children.

They don't want their kids to see blow jobs being performed in exchange for drugs on Tenean Street while they walk over to Boston Bowl or down to the beach.

They don't want constant flashing lights of police cars through their windows all night while they are trying to sleep.

How many of you actually go down Southampton Street and have seen the mess that it is? It is a messed up place. Shooting up, public blow jobs, shit everywhere. It is not really nice.

The people in Neponset want their neighborhood to be the way that it is. There is nothing wrong in saying that. Some of the comments below (mob!) (white!) so cute and are so prejudiced. PS - There are more people of color in Neponset than you think or at least your racist brain thinks.

I know the facility which will be going in here. It is not Mass and Cass. This is for treatment and placement back into to society. It is there to help the sober. There are already places for alkies in many neighborhoods, especially Quincy. The Gavin House is South Boston is an example.

This hotel already has a whore problem from what I have been told. I was in the 7-11 a few years back and noticed a pimp / sex worker component getting snacks vibe. This will be different.

Then again 15 years ago, Mass and Cass was a light industrial / food service area with more than average but still minimal crime. The city let it get out of control and can't seem to solve the problem. I'd be apprehensive as hell too about the city not being able to control things.

Walsh tried to clean up Mass and Cass and got crushed. Especially here. The current administration handed out flyers. I drove through last Friday post flyer distribution. Looked the same to me. Oops.

I hope this place works. If someone is seen whacked out in Garvey Park while a T Ball game is going on and is traced back to this place, things could get really interesting.

I would like to see the next of these places in Newton Center, Centre Street in JP Right by JP Licks - Not over by English High, Roslindale Village, Union Square, Forest Hills, and along Harvard Street between Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village. You are all going to support this if it happens, right? No opposition because you know that this will be good for those people, right?

up
Voting closed 0

On the hand you criticize the "current administration" for not doing anything about Mass and Cass, on the other hand you support the NIMBYs who don't want a new residential facility to be built sorta near them and go on to slur the people in need.

This is the logic that got us where we are today.

up
Voting closed 2

People need shelter and safety regardless of if they use substances or accept money for bjs. We all deserve these things. I live two blocks w my husband and young kid. We will be ok. We live in the city so when we go to parks we look for needles. Does that suck- yes. But that is the reality of where things are right now.

Maybe having a very vocal, involved community will help keep staff/the facility accountable so residents will be supported and the area safe?

For the record I hear police sirens all the time. I have heard gun shots last summer more regularly than I would like to admit. As a community we are in a tough spot. That doesn’t mean we don’t do what we can. We will have to be uncomfortable to move forward. I will admit it’s certain neighborhoods that experience that discomfort but I’d rather that than nothing.

Can’t let the fear hold us back bc people are dying.

up
Voting closed 1

If someone is seen whacked out in Garvey Park while a T Ball game is going on and is traced back to this place, things could get really interesting.

I drove up Neponset Ave yesterday around 4:30 pm and there was someone passed out on the sidewalk right in front of Garvey. There was a state trooper standing next to them on the radio. It's not the first time I've seen something like that on that stretch either.

So it's not going to be "interesting" at all since it's going to be less likely to happen with the people who are placed in this housing than with people that are already in the neighborhood.

up
Voting closed 1

A lot of people don't want to see it get worse. See? Understand now?

PS - Why was a Statie with a person on Neponset Ave? That's City cop stuff. Are you sure of what you saw? Are you composing fiction to make your point?

up
Voting closed 2

Staties patrol Gallivan/Morrissey and the rink on the other side of the park so they were probably just the closest responder at the time. Besides, I think I know the difference between a state trooper vehicle and a C-11 one.

The people who are eligible for that housing are highly unlikely to make it worse. Understand now?

up
Voting closed 1

There IS a huge building for homeless people being built in JP. And no one from Jamaica Plain opposed it. And it’s right next to a school and across from a daycare. So once again you have no point.

up
Voting closed 1

Have it put in the wealthy community where you grew up. See if that flies.

up
Voting closed 2

How badly you want to be feel persecuted when in reality you are encouraging the persecution of others is simply pathetic.

up
Voting closed 1

You get called out on your inconsistent storytelling and suddenly you are victim of isms usually slung about by scared little old white men.

Mmmmkay.

Do you know what DARVO stands for? Because it is your primary means of responding to anything that doesn't worship at your altar of narcissism.

up
Voting closed 0

But I'll have to remember that bringing up people's biases is a UHub discussion is verboten. Or is it verboten only when it applies to some people, but not others?

How is your suburb handling the issue? I bet it involves people taking the Orange Line somewhere.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm glad he brought up the prostitution concern. Down market hotels can't afford the staff it takes to keep this place safe and secure.

But random druggies showing up at Garvey has no relevance to this program. They get broomed off one street and they wander around. Boston residents seem very clueless about the housing crisis in this country. In Denver, every city grocery stories have decrepit trailers that rotate around, with people camping there. If we don't build more places it will come here too. Every park will have tents.

And they can't live in the suburbs because they need health care. Do you have any idea how many people come to boston for free care?

up
Voting closed 2

Despite any differences.

It gets under my skin when suburbanites send Boston their problems then gripe about how we’re dealing with them.

As far as trailers go, I know of 2 or 3 in Hyde Park and one in West Roxbury. The tenants take good care of then, so they are not an issue, at least for now.

up
Voting closed 1

Just to be clear I am talking about people living in a trailer on a public street.

up
Voting closed 2

These trailers are on public streets. Sure, the Hyde Park trailers are on a quiet street, but the West Roxbury one is parked on Washington Street, which is very public.

Of course, we are talking a trailer here and 2 trailers there, but I can say with confidence that they are being lived in.

up
Voting closed 1

This will spread everywhere in the city if we don't fix the housing crisis.

up
Voting closed 0

The one on Washington St?

Because if so, people DID oppose it under the pretense of "not enough parking", which in my experience is a graduate school/upper class polite way of saying "NIMBY".

Feel free to read the public comment section of the proposal, comments start on page 7:

up
Voting closed 1

As linked elsewhere down thread, you opposed that building in JP.

up
Voting closed 0

Come on man, that's a full sized diamond, completely inappropriate for t-ball.

up
Voting closed 2

I swear it gets better with each watch as you notice more details.

up
Voting closed 1

The local opposition is claiming that this will turn the area into the next Mass & Cass. I'm not saying that it will happen, but that is what they are claiming.

up
Voting closed 1

i know you don't even live near this so ??

up
Voting closed 2

Kudos to BPDA for approving this despite irrational community opposition.

But $49.2 million to create 99 individual units? That's half a million per unit--about what it costs for new construction of a complete multi-bedroom apartment! I hope that includes long-term funding for the support services. If not, this seems like an inefficient way to spend scarce resources.

up
Voting closed 1

The Community Builders didn't make themselves into a large, nationwide, multi-billion dollar development company by undercharging. Sure, they could build brand new units for less money, but then how would they get their cut? There's a whole army of consultants, advocates, and managers who have to get paid from all those tax free dollars.

Don't get me wrong. We need more housing like this, and this will happen faster than new units. But no one is making these units purely out of the goodness of their hearts. They're doing it for the money. And there seems to be a lot of money ($49.2 million, in fact!) out there to build these units.

And I'd love to be wrong, but I would bet that figure doesn't include long term funding. That comes from Pine Street Inn. Who I hope will end up owning this building, otherwise they'll probably be leasing it long term from--Yep, you guessed it--The Community Builders!

up
Voting closed 2

The Community Builders didn't make themselves into a large, nationwide, multi-billion dollar development company by undercharging. Sure, they could build brand new units for less money, but then how would they get their cut? There's a whole army of consultants, advocates, and managers who have to get paid from all those tax free dollars.

More like 14 states in the Northeast and Midwest. Also you fail to mention that TCB is a locally based nonprofit with a mission to develop and manage affordable and sustainable housing.

up
Voting closed 1

Their 2020 IRS Form 990 lists 14 highest compensated directors, officers, and key employees, 12 of whom have totals over $200,000.

https://www.guidestar.org/profile/04-2324773

Their website states that they own or manage 150 properties in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, DC, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, oh, and Massachusetts.

They have a mission statement, but they are not missionaries.

up
Voting closed 0

So, if they were missionaries you'd be okay with TCB's projects?

up
Voting closed 0

TCB is a business, structured as a well-funded tax-exempt organization, holding themselves out as somehow doing the Lord's work. Their real business model is to profit from government funding, direct, and indirect, typically from syndicated tax credits. They are not Catholic Charities or Combined Jewish Philanthropies, or even Pine Street Inn. Their sycophants dutifully parrot the party line on zoom meetings, when more than 90% of their support lives nowhere near this project. It's the poverty industrial complex.

up
Voting closed 1

turn your laser focus on charter schools. Housing people in a housing crisis is god's work

up
Voting closed 2

It costs over $1m dollars to build a unit of affordable housing in SF.

Part of it is the cost of labor and materials. Boston is an expensive city, and laborers have high wages. There’s a bottleneck in both the supply of labor and materials at the moment.

But also, cities just make it plain hard to build housing. So much red tape and unnecessary process that draw out the development process for years - years in which you have to pay the salary of everyone involved in the project. There are consultants and advocates to assist in navigating the labyrinthine processes in getting housing approved in this city, and advocates to convince local NIMBYs to support a project they’ll never be in favor of over a dozen public meetings.

Developers also have to hedge against the fact that any of their projects might get delayed or outright rejected for any arbitrary reason and bake that into the cost of doing business (see 4198 Washington in Rozzie).

Building housing doesn’t have to be so expensive. We’ve made it this way.

up
Voting closed 1

Yeah, that's what builders charge. That's why there's a housing crunch.

These will be good units to help people back to society for decades, depending on how well the support services are set up, and having volunteered with Pine Street often over the years, I'm sure they will run this effectively. A motel design is actually ideal for a group of people who need support and community, so it's a great idea, generally.

Many of these old motels in their current form are a magnet for all sorts of crime, so while I understand people not wanting a large re-housing center in their neighborhood, what they already have is not the Ritz Carton or the Four Seasons.

up
Voting closed 0

But nothing is being built, it's a very minor renovation of an existing structure.

up
Voting closed 1

Is the $49.2MM Project Cost or Construction Cost?

If it is the former, there are plenty of soft costs that will eat up some of that money.

up
Voting closed 2

So any of your neighbors that disagree with you are irrational? Sad, they outnumbered those in favor of this and agreed with you.
Well, elections will fix this.

up
Voting closed 1

People places and things. Every one of the lucky individuals who score in the lottery for housing by staying off the hard drugs for themselves and not because of a judge"s orders in order to avoid jail deserves full support. Full suit of armor needed to win what appears to be a losing battle all around them.

up
Voting closed 1

I’ve followed this project from the beginning and even attended one of the in-person meeting at the Murphy school a few months ago. That was an experience. The mob mentality and level of hostility (including from the head of the three nearby neighborhood associations) was something I’d never seen before and I have been to many community meetings over the past 20 years.

Hardly any of these folks showed interest in hearing the details or tour similar facilities that Pine Street operate; something that was offered repeatedly by Pine Street staff. The more prejudiced and outrageous the comment, the more cheers and applause it received. The 3 or 4 people in the audience who were brave enough to say something positive about the project were not allowed to finish their sentences as they were booed and heckled at by a large part of the audience (> 95% white). Folks kept saying over and over that this is a community where people care and support each other, but that courtesy clearly doesn’t extend to people who don’t look like them. I think that a proposal to turn 900 Morrissey into an open-air storage for nuclear waste would have gotten a more positive reception. I surely learned something about this corner of Dorchester.

Kudos to the BPDA folks for showing some spine -unlike the flimsy elected reps who want to see solutions to homelessness, just not in their district.

up
Voting closed 1

white nuclear waste.

up
Voting closed 1

The people at Mass and Cass look to me to be mostly white, so I don't think that's quite what people are worried about. They really should have had a look at the other housing Pine Street has. I bet they would have been persuaded if they had bothered.

up
Voting closed 1

I mean yea..everything you said is on brand for what one would expect from a community meeting in Neponset.

If there's a chance enon-white people or non-middle class people could be helped in any way - directly or indirectly- well, hell no.

It's a thing... but the beauty of Boston in 2023 is you can usually count on this contingent of old, racist, whiny, boring, people not getting their way. I mean who honestly cares about their neurotic hang-ups? Other than them?

They've been a stain on the city and the city's reputation for decades and they're well aware that is how they are perceived. They probably anticipated the loss.

up
Voting closed 4

This is great news. Great for the sick and suffering who so desperately need shelter. Great for the city for Boston.

up
Voting closed 0

Projects get shut down left and right over wrong siding color comment from a NIMBY on the other side of the US yet Mass&Cass relocation got through with zero issues despite the opposition from quite literally everyone? This can't possibly be political, no way!

up
Voting closed 0

This is housing “mass cass relocation” it is not. If you don’t want to see homeless people this is how, you make them no longer homeless. I truly despise people like you.

up
Voting closed 1

Not everyone opposed it, just a handful of ignorant, intolerant NIMBYS.

up
Voting closed 2

I don't recall you supporting the effort at the Shattuck.

I guess those in other neighborhoods are NIMBYS, but when it's in your backyard...

up
Voting closed 0

That is right. Just Demonize anyone who disagrees with you. Mature!

up
Voting closed 2

How many of the ardent supporters live withing a ten block radius?

up
Voting closed 1

I live much closer than 10 blocks to the huge Pine Street Inn building under construction in JP and I support it. Any other questions?

up
Voting closed 1

Community builders
2.4 Google reviews, sounds like they do a bang up job on their management. Non profit + non profit = bog profit, all tax payer money

up
Voting closed 0

Admittedly I live in Savin Hill (so more than 10 blocks) and wrote in a letter of support. But this is because the Pine Street Inn runs a similar property on my street in Savin Hill. A street full of kids and families of all types where the homes are easily over $1Mil. Many of our newer residents have no idea it is even there. Actually, many long-time residents in the area have no idea too. It is well run and the residents are friendly and offer treats to my dog when we walk by and make pleasantries. There is rarely an issue but when there has (usually it is a resident asking for money), the staff has nipped it in the bud.

The Mass & Cass crowd are not representative of the entire homeless population, not by a long shot. These are clearly down on their luck people, sometimes with a disability, that need our help.

up
Voting closed 1

up
Voting closed 1

I love that this project was approved! And I am local local to it. Count my hand, please.

When I walk my dog, I look down the street over and past the stop and shop and there’s the comfort inn. I’ve been shopping at Star more though, due to picking up the newer bf from one of the jfk/UMass shuttles.

And I have supported this project since the day I heard of it. And when i heard of the disgusting, mob-mentality response to those who spoke in support at the in-person from my friends WHO ARE ALSO NEIGHBORS…

I hope they build the next supportive / unsheltered housing within our 10 block radius, again. Have a good mom’s day weekend! =)

up
Voting closed 1

People who are homeless, able bodied and have zero ambitions to better themselves will find the path of least resistance. They flock to places like this because they can't continuously violate laws in smaller towns and communities in and around the cities. Have fun with this experiment and I hope you like living in a neighborhood where you're going to have to put bars on your first floor windows.

up
Voting closed 0

I agree. Ashmont Station has dozens of "homeless" men that just hang out and sell drugs and drink. Ashmont Grill is now gone and neighbors are upset and some are about to move. Very unpleasant. But look at Portland, San Francisco, etc. This Progressive strategy is a big problem for cities as the Middle Class leave.

up
Voting closed 1

Yeah, have to agree with you on Ashmont. It wasn’t like that even 5 years ago. I don’t think most of those dudes are homeless though. It’s a whole different problem. They honestly just need to be moved along, but the cops are afraid to do that now. If you talk to them they’re actually pretty nice.

up
Voting closed 2

Oh, we’ll have to put up bars? I guess my neighbors that still have them from olden days will be all set then. The wood boards on my basement casement windows are ugly and light blocking, but I guess it’s good I never got around to removing them?

Supportive housing is to help formerly homeless ppl get up and back up onto more than just surviving expensive Boston living. Get some perspective, have more heart, and please don’t let yourself be ignorant.

up
Voting closed 0

All I can say is that Stop and Shop will likely lose customers and some nearby residents might move. Boston is losing its middle class and business is dropping. In part because the city does what it wants and doesn't care about the residents living here. Not a good thing. Not good for the next election for Mayor Wu

up
Voting closed 1

That makes no sense. Huge apartment complex are being built right next to this comfort inn. Stop and Shop is more likely to expand than move.

up
Voting closed 1