Opening of 140 Clarendon Brings More Affordable Housing To Back Bay

A new chapter for affordable housing in the Back Bay began last Thursday, March 7, with the grand opening of 140 Clarendon – a redevelopment project at the historic Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) building at the intersection of Clarendon and Stuart streets.

The project – a partnership between Beacon Communities and the Mount Vernon Company – will create 210 affordable apartments, which include 111  supportive housing apartments designated for people exiting homelessness provided by The Pine Street Inn.

“Making sure residents have a safe, stable place to live is critical in our efforts to ensure Boston is a safe, strong, and resilient city for everyone,” said Mayor Michelle Wu during the official ribbon-cutting event. “The 140 Clarendon community shows how public, private, and nonprofit partners can work together to strengthen our neighborhoods to be a home for everyone.”

Sheila Dillon,  the city’s Chief of Housing, added: “The developers, working closely with the Back Bay community have come together to imagine and create a very special development, one that will serve Boston residents for decades to come,” said Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon. “The Mayor’s Office of Housing was honored to invest in this affordable housing project, which will provide over 200 households with an affordable home, including 111 for individuals who were formerly homeless. In addition to the affordable homes, the development team was able to retain the existing theater, businesses and a local school. A model development for us all.”

The building’s two existing commercial tenants – the Lyric Stage Theatre and the Snowden School, respectively – will remain on site due to the efforts of the project team.

Kenzie Bok, Boston Housing Authority  Administrator, as well as the former District 8 city councilor, said, “140 Clarendon Street is living proof that Boston can be a city for all of our residents, regardless of income, when we come together to make it so. We are so proud to support this thriving affordable housing community in the heart of Back Bay and look forward to supporting more such projects in all our neighborhoods.”

Lyndia Downie, president and executive director of Pine Street Inn. “Pine Street Inn is thrilled to be part of the 140 Clarendon community. The support services provided by Pine Street are key to ensuring that vulnerable individuals have the resources they need to successfully settle into their new apartments and the larger community. 140 Clarendon embodies the mission of Pine Street to end homelessness by making the safety and stability of permanent housing a reality for 111 tenants.”

The Mayor’s Office of Housing supported the project with $3,689,955 of Community Development Block Grant-Cares Act funds and $2,600,000 of Coronavirus Relief funds for a total of $6,289,955. The Boston Housing Authority is providing Project-Based Vouchers (PBV) to all the apartments in the new development; the vouchers represent a $6.3 million annual subsidy from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and will ensure that residents can remain in the apartments regardless of their income.

In addition to support from the city, the project received state and federal low income tax credits from the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), and Federal Historic Tax Credits. Financing for the project includes funding from the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Massachusetts EOHLC, MassHousing, Capital Magnet Fund, Bank of America, and state and federal tax credits.

Beacon Communities purchased the 140 Clarendon building, which was constructed between 1927 and 1929 and served as the YWCA’s headquarters for nearly 100 years, in 2021.

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