For Immediate Release
June 08, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino, DND Director Evelyn Friedman, Elderly Commissioner Emily Shea, Hearth President and CEO Mark Hinderlie and residents today celebrated the continued revitalization of the former Boston State Hospital Campus at a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for a new mixed-use development for formerly homeless elders in Dorchester. The new $16 million development features 59,580 square feet of affordable apartments, a laundry room on each floor, and common areas, including a dining room with a gas fireplace, a computer room, an activities room, a fitness room, and two outdoor patios.
“Hearth at Olmstead Green adds much-needed housing for seniors, but even more – this building replaces a void in the community that we’ve been working to fill for many years. It signifies the latest success in our ongoing revitalization of the former Boston State Hospital land,” Mayor Menino said about today’s ribbon cutting event. “I want to thank Hearth for their commitment to the community and our seniors.”
The development was made possible, in part, by a contribution of more than $2 million from the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, as well as $3.5 million in affordable housing program subsidies from the state.
“This is an important project for the community,” Mayor Menino said. “We should be proud that by working together we brought a formerly vacant property back into use and created a vibrant new community where low-income seniors can find a stable, caring community.”
Elder homelessness involves a unique set of issues very different from those surrounding family homelessness or homelessness in younger individuals. For the elderly, homelessness accelerates aging, increases frailty, chronic diseases, impaired mental function, and isolation. Hearth at Olmstead Green will provide housing and improve the health and wellbeing of Boston’s elder population. The 32,504 square-foot, 5-story development adds a total of 59 one-bedroom units of affordable senior housing for formerly homeless elders and provides service enriched living with 24 hour staffing. By providing wrap-around services for its residents, that integrate housing, mental health and medical care with social services very frail elders are now able to live with considerable independence in their own apartments. The integrated care management model that Hearth at Olmstead Green uses is designed to improve care and health and lead to financial savings to Medicare and Medicaid.
Hearth at Olmstead Green incorporated environmentally friendly design features throughout the building. The project meets DND’s LEED Silver “Certifiable” requirement, Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, and the EPA’s Energy Star building standards.
Hearth at Olmsted Green is also one component of a bold, community based vision for the redevelopment of the former Boston State Hospital campus. Begun in 2005, the campus has been through a comprehensive multiyear planning and community process, involving hundreds of local citizens, civic groups, and institutions including DND, Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Boston State Hospital Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and the Lena Park Community Development Corporation in the final design of the campus.