Hey, there! Log in / Register

Republican homophobes in Congress can't stop Hyde Park LGBTQ senior housing

Republicans in Congress this week stripped $850,000 that would help finish the conversion of a former Hyde Park middle school into an affordable apartment building aimed at LGBTQ seniors, but the work continues and the new building still expects to welcome its first residents early next year, one of the project's organizers said this morning.

Gretchen Van Ness, executive director of LGBTQ Senior Housing, said that, in the worst case, the 74-unit Pryde, in the former William Barton Rogers School, will open to residents without some of the amenities promised them and the community, such as furniture in a sun room or a finished courtyard, at least until she and other organizers can raise the funds they thought they'd be getting from Washington.

Van Ness said construction, by Pennrose, a company that specializes in such work, remains as on track as it can in an old school building without many blueprints but that the goal remains to apply for a certificate of occupancy in late fall and to then seek applicants for the apartments through the city's housing lottery system, with the first residents moving in in late January or February.

Van Ness said she was shocked to learns that Republicans on an Appropriations Committee sub-committee voted to strike out the Pryde and two LGBTQ projects in Pennsylvania in a 2024 appropriations bill, in part because all three were earmarks that individual members of Congress were allowed to put in for projects in their districts - after going through a detailed review process to prove the projects were supported by people in the districts in addition to having merit.

The Advocate quoted one Republican congressman as saying he moved to strip the money because the Pryde and the two Pennsylvania projects were really fronts for "grooming children." This is not the first time homophobes have attacked the project.

US Rep. Ayanna Pressley made the Pryde an earmark after her group submitted letters from groups that included Hyde Park Main Streets and the Hyde Park Board of Trade and from local elected officials, including several city councilors and state Rep. Rob Consalvo, that the project had "deep and wide community support," Van Ness said.

In addition to serving as a home to LGBTQ seniors, the Pryde was also designed to include a community center with an art gallery and meeting room, she said, adding her group is also looking at how to possible incorporate a health-care clinic in the building.

"The Hyde Park community wants us to open," as do seniors looking for a safe place to call home - especially in a generation that lived through severe discrimination and AIDS - she said.

She said some 900 people have already e-mailed her group expressing interest in the apartments and she's expecting several thousand applications through the city lottery. "There's such pent-up demand," she said.

Van Ness said she's optimistic that, in the worst case, backers will be able to raise the funds needed to replace the money that would no longer come from Washington. She said the project already has a total of 27 different funding sources, including housing and historic-preservation tax credits and money from the Boston Community Preservation Act fund.

She said funding what is now a $45-million project has been a challenge at times because of a number of unexpected costs caused by construction work in a decades-old building without many blueprints. As just one example, she said that Pennrose had to redo plans for a kitchen that would be off the school's old auditorium when workers opened the door to the room planned for it and found a steel beam running right through it.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Free tagging: 


Ad:


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

Comments

I hope the Republicans now cut any funding to THE Ohio State University based on the actual sexual violence committed by the people in charge of the wrestling team who are protected by the ranking member of the house judiciary committee.

JFC - queer people faced documented harassment in Boston Public Housing for years. Let them have their furniture.

"Grooming" I would have loved to seen the focus group which got that distraction machine going. Keep voting blue, just not for D list city councilors.

up
Voting closed 0

check out his Facebook page, it's pretty filled with right wing propaganda. You can report it to Facebook for hate speach to try and stop the spread of hate! Scary coming from a medical doctor.

I wonder who his opponent is and if we could donate to them?

I can't wait for this project to open, I think it's going to be a huge add to foot traffic in the Logan square area and thanks to everyone involved.

up
Voting closed 0

Harris is a total idiot, but I didn’t exactly see hate speech.

up
Voting closed 0

Summarily lumping together GLBTQ individuals as "groomers," (i.e., pedos) isn't hate speech?

Christ on a cracker I can only imagine what your "love" language looks like.

up
Voting closed 0

I didn’t see it on his Facebook. Maybe you did?

up
Voting closed 0

"He said that while the projects ostensibly supported LGBTQ+ seniors, in his opinion, they were grooming children."

up
Voting closed 0

The Advocate is not his Facebook page. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is a lowlife.

up
Voting closed 0

he is very, very right.

up
Voting closed 0

Will this be privately of city owned?

up
Voting closed 0

Privately owned, by a non-profit.

up
Voting closed 0

I always wonder how one would go about "proving" one was a member of the LGBTQ community in a situation like housing, or any situation where being LGBTQ is a "requirement" of sorts. Given that they are expecting several thousand applications and people, especially seniors, are obviously desperate for affordable housing. If somebody is, for lack of a better phrase, "straight appearing", and has lived a basically discreet life, what can be done? A background check? What would it prove? I guess it's all on an honor system. I know to claim one is LGBTQ to get affordable housing is very unethical behavior, I'm just saying theoretically it could be done.

up
Voting closed 0

Legally, they can't discriminate on the basis of sexual preference, so nobody has to pretend to be something they're not, should they have a burning desire to live on a Hyde Park side street, and should they enter the lottery and win the right to an apartment.

However, the Pryde will be providing services aimed at LGBTQ residents, in a building where people will be encouraged and protected to be as out as they want to be. So you'd have to be comfortable with that.

up
Voting closed 0

Is proving that one is a Gold Star heterosexual

up
Voting closed 0

It happened in a foxhole!!!

up
Voting closed 0

Flip the script

up
Voting closed 0

You don’t have to personally identify as LGBT+ to live in these homes. You just can’t be an ass to people who do. This project allows people who have lived their lives “out” to not have to crawl back into the closet when they enter traditional, often less- accepting senior housing.

up
Voting closed 0

My elderly mother didn't "come out" until she was in her 60s. One of her greatest fears was ending up in a nursing home where she'd have to go back in the closet to be safe.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm not gay, but there are a hell of a lot of times I wish I could say I wasn't straight.

up
Voting closed 0

I think you've just come up with an idea to reboot Bosom Buddies for the modern era.

up
Voting closed 0

I think the title will need to be updated to "Boomer Bosom Buddies" instead.

up
Voting closed 0

The original show was about Boomers.

up
Voting closed 0

money from the Boston Community Preservation Act fund

That was the ballot question where the city voted to add to their own property taxes to fund projects like this in the community, right? I kinda forgot about that, but I'm glad to see some of it being used for this project. Maybe I should look up the other stuff it's gone to.

up
Voting closed 0

Here's a listing of the projects approved this year, to give you an example of the sorts of things the Community Preservation Committee funds.

up
Voting closed 0

That's a pretty good list of projects it's supporting. I remember when the act passed by ballot measure and it struck me how it highlights the difference between red or blue areas of the US.

In many GOP dominated areas people will vote for politicians or policies that will at least be against their own interests if not hurt them directly. This is an example of how blue voters will vote for a policy that will cost them personally but are only likely to benefit someone else.

up
Voting closed 0

Andy's district was represented by Bob Bauman many years ago. Bob was a moralist supreme. He made morality one of the most important aspects of his political personality. That included supporting the idea that Gays, Lesbians and the entire range of sexual minorities are subhuman, immoral creatures that should not exist on the face of the planet.

Until he was charged for soliciting sex from a 16 year old boy.

But Bob was a moral man. He admitted his error and blamed alcoholism. In other words the devil made him do it. Then he turned to helping clients evade taxes and hid money.

Bob was a model for modern elected Republicans.

Maryland's Eastern Shore, America in Miniature's portion of the Delmarva Peninsula, has always been the go to place for the best cantaloupes (sweet and juicy beyond belief), chickens and slaughter houses, Ocean City, the KKK and fellows such as Bob and Andy.

up
Voting closed 0

Might Rep. Andy Harris come out of the closet?

Until he was charged for soliciting sex from a 16 year old boy.

Maybe let's not do this. Equating predatory sexual behavior towards members of the same sex is not the same thing as being gay, and calling homophobic people closet cases is harmful to lgbtq people.

up
Voting closed 0

"and calling homophobic people closet cases is harmful to lgbtq people."

I have been trying to tell people that for years. But, like clockwork, every time a boisterous homophobe makes a lot of noise, the supposedly enlightened people here start with the same old knee-jerk "he's a 'closet case'" cannard. It's completely automatic. They do not see how THEY are the homophobes, "the sick, twisted unhappy, repressed homosexual is acting out badly in other disturbing ways". As I always say, "sometimes a homophobe is just a homophobe".

up
Voting closed 0