Real Estate Today: Shattuck Supportive Housing proposal to merge with master plan

The Asset Management Board (AMB) did not vote on the Shattuck Supportive Housing proposal during its Sept. 18 meeting, as a decision was made to align the project with the overall Shattuck Campus Master Plan, according to an update posted on the state website.

The preliminary proposal for supportive housing at the campus was submitted more than a year ago, in July 2017, before the public knew of plans to move the Shattuck Hospital to the South End, which were revealed earlier this year.

The Newton Pavilion building in the South End will be renovated before the Shattuck Hospital beds are moved over there, which should be by 2021. In the meantime, the state will have a 12-month planning process for the future of the Shattuck campus, which started in the summer.

A deeply contentious public hearing about the supportive housing proposal was held in May with conflicting priorities being expressed from the community. Residents argued at the hearing that the planning process for the land should be more inclusive of the community’s concerns, that the Shattuck campus should be returned to parkland, or that supportive housing was necessary.

The proposal is to lease up to two acres of the Shattuck Hospital campus to a not-yet-identified developer in order to build supportive housing. Supportive housing is permanent housing which combines affordability and supportive services for people that were previously homeless. It’s usually built by nonprofit developers and includes 24 hour staffing.

“When the Commonwealth and the City of Boston first envisioned the concept of siting a supportive housing development on a portion of the Shattuck campus, the existing hospital and other programs were occupying most of the site. With the addition of a new and modern public health hospital to the Commonwealth’s portfolio (the Newton Pavilion), there is an ability to renew and redesign a larger portion of the Shattuck campus for public health purposes,” said the statement on the state website.

The statement continued, “The project proponents remain strongly committed to the Supportive Housing project as part of the Shattuck Campus redevelopment. On September 18, the Board did not vote on the long-term lease, but was asked to confirm their continued support of the supportive housing concept. The proponents expect to return to the Board with recommendations from the master planning process when that is complete. We believe that this approach will provide the best overall vision for the campus, including supportive housing.”

City and state officials gave an update on the housing proposal to members of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Housing and Development Committee earlier this month. According to chair Carolyn Royce, “The City and State will be relying on a private-public partnership to create the housing:

– the lease agreement for the housing will be with a private vendor who will include the services needed; the lease is conditional on providing services.

– there will be no market rate, private housing on the Campus

– both the City and State see a need for larger scale supportive housing projects (current largest number of units is the Bowditch at 50 units); because of the need to provide 24-hour services, they are seeking economies of scale by having larger projects.”





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