The city has selected a local non-profit group and a Philadelphia builder to turn the former William Barton Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park into a 74-unit apartment building aimed at LGBTQ seniors - the first of its kind in New England - Jim Kirker reports in the Hyde Park Neighbors Facebook group.
LGBTQ Senior Housing and Pennrose will also set aside space in the building for highlighting the history of Hyde Park and an art studio and community room as part of the $33 million rehab of the 1899 building.
With the planned LGBTQ-friendly programming and services we will promote a safe and welcoming place in the community for LGBTQ seniors to congregate. Beyond the establishment of this first housing development, we would continue to look for opportunities to develop additional sites as well as providing a template or prototype for use in the development of any senior housing elsewhere.
According to the mayor's office:
Of the 74 total income-restricted rental units in the new Barton Rogers development, eight will be rented to households of individuals who are homeless or who require rental assistance. Another eight will be deeply affordable units for seniors whose income is between approximately $25,000-$40,000 per year. In addition, 34 units will be available to households earning less than 60% AMI (about $55,000 for a two-person household). The remaining units will be rented to households earning up to 80% AMI (8 units) and 100% AMI (16 units).
BPS shut the Rogers in 2015, then turned it over to the Department of Neighborhood Development after concluding that renovating it as a more modern school would cost too much.