Boston's LGBTQ+ senior housing project vows to open as planned, despite funding cut by Congress

The Pryde Board and its supporters break ground at the site in June 2022. (Courtesy of Rep. Ayanna Pressley's office)
The Pryde Board and its supporters break ground at the site in June 2022. (Courtesy of Rep. Ayanna Pressley's office)

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I’m sorry to report last night’s winning $1 billion Powerball ticket was sold far away from Boston. But let’s focus on what’s happening here.

The Pryde is pushing onward. Despite congressional Republicans’ move to nix federal funding for the LGBTQ-friendly, affordable senior housing project in Boston’s Hyde Park, the nonprofit behind the development vows it will open as planned. “We are still here, we are still fighting to open the doors of our building, and we will find a way to close this gap if Congress doesn’t reconsider this terrible discriminatory bigoted thing they did yesterday,” Gretchen Van Ness, the executive director of LGBTQ+ Senior Housing Inc., told WBUR’s Stevee Chapman. (The Pryde is the same project that was targeted by vandalism last year.)

  • The backstory: The Pryde is a 74-unit redevelopment of an old school that would be Boston’s first senior housing project tailored toward — but not exclusively for — older LGBTQ+ adults. Why? According to project advocates, 50% of LGBTQ+ seniors in the U.S. are not out, and one-third are living at or below 200% of the poverty line.
  • What makes The Pryde LGBTQ-friendly? Van Ness explained last year on Radio Boston they’ve been doing targeted outreach to local LGBTQ+ groups to raise awareness. They’re also converting the school’s old gym into a public space they hope will serve as Boston’s “de facto LGBTQ+ community center.”
  • $$$: It’s a pricey project, relying on multiple funding streams, including federal money. But this week, a Republican-controlled House committee voted to strip three LGBTQ-related earmarks from a larger spending bill, including $850,000 for The Pryde.
  • According to Roll Call, at least one GOP congressman argued The Pryde would discriminate against those who are not LGBTQ+ or allies. The outlet reports the move is part of a larger effort by House Republicans to eliminate “woke” projects. In response, Rep. Ayanna Pressley — who made the funding request — called the move “blatant homophobia.”
  • What’s next: Van Ness says construction is well underway and remains “full speed ahead.” They plan to finish work by the end of the year and welcome their first residents next spring. Van Ness added they hope to replace the federal money with philanthropic grants and individual donations. “It will be tough,” she said in an email. “But we are used to working hard and beating the odds.”

Sunu-nope: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is joining fellow New England Republican Charlie Baker in the land of post-elected office. The 48-year-old — who considered but passed on campaigns for U.S. Senate and president — announced yesterday he won’t be running for a fifth term as governor in 2024, either. So, who will be the Granite State’s next governor? It’s already a pretty crowded race.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts: All seven of Healey’s recommended pardons have been approved by the Governor’s Council. Members of the body say “look forward to more pardons” from the governor.

  • Who are the newly pardoned individuals? Read the list and the reasons they’re being pardoned here.

Toast’s new 99-cent online order fee is, well, toast. The Boston-based tech company says it will remove the newly added fee on food orders over $10, following pushback from customers. “We made the wrong decision,” Toast’s CEO said in a statement yesterday. (In related news: the company stock fell by over 15% yesterday.)

P.S.— There’s no hidden 99-cent fees to attend tonight’s Radio Boston barbecue chef throwdown — but we’ll be upfront: it does cost $15 to attend. That’s not bad considering you’ll get to taste the best bites from several local barbecue chefs AND get their expert grill tips. There’ll be both meat and vegetarians options, so come hungry!


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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