Our Lady’s Guild House to be preserved as permanent affordable housing in Fenway

A pair of Boston-based nonprofit affordable housing developers has closed a deal to gain ownership of Our Lady’s Guild House, a Fenway rooming house for women it looks to preserve as affordable housing.

The Planning Office for Urban Affairs and Fenway Community Development Corporation announced Friday that they have acquired the 140-unit building after receiving financing from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation.

This comes after the nonprofits teamed up in March to sign an option agreement for the facility at 20 Charlesgate West, just outside of Kenmore Square. As the acquisition has gone through, the pair will now rehab and modernize the building as 100% permanent affordable housing. It will also protect tenancies of long-term residents.

“The partnership will be investing significantly in rehabilitating and renovating the OLGH property to create housing that is welcoming, inclusive, universally accessible, energy-efficient, supportive of healthy living, and rich in shared amenity spaces for residents,” officials wrote in a release.

Our Lady of Guild House became a point of controversy in 2018 when residents said many of their neighbors were forced to leave. They argued that management was pushing them out through unfair contracts that targeted elderly tenants, catering towards college students.

State Attorney General Andrea Campbell announced in March her office had secured a deal to stop evictions, settle allegations of age and disability discrimination against long-term tenants and secured a $115,000 penalty payment.

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The Archdiocese of Boston purchased the building in 1946 to be run by a new charity, the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Ownership changed from the Daughters of Mary to its own name in 1981, according to corporate records filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Units are single-room occupancy and residents share kitchens and bathrooms. They go for $810 to $950 a month, depending on size, according to the facility’s website.

“We are grateful that OLGH has been willing to work with us in the acquisition of the property and its preservation as an important affordable housing resource in the City,” said Bill Grogan, president of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs. “This acquisition aligns with our mission to respond to the urgent need for affordable housing in the City of Boston, and our moral obligation to ensure that everyone has a roof over their heads.”

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