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As planning for a new clinical building continues to take shape, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has embarked upon a unique partnership with the community. In an agreement viewed as a “win-win” for both sides, a commitment has been made to forge a cooperative alliance to improve quality of life in the neighborhood and quality of patient care at the hospital.
“BWH has a longstanding mission to serve the community and to provide the best quality patient care available,” said BWH President Jeff Otten. “We view this as an opportunity to accomplish both in the best interests of our patients and neighbors alike.” .
Under the agreement with the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH), BWH will move six multi-family houses containing 28 families to vacant lots in the neighborhood allowing for the construction of a new clinical building. In return for the block of land bounded by Binney and Vining Streets, the hospital will sell 22 different parcels to RTH for $1. This will allow the neighborhood organization to secure long-term housing stability for local residents. .
In addition, the hospital has committed to a comprehensive partnership with RTH. The partnership includes a thorough needs assessment, vocational and educational programs to help area residents gain skills needed for employment at BWH and other hospitals, and prevention workshops on key health issues. The partnership’s programs will be available to residents of RTH and the greater Mission Hill area. .
“This landmark agreement is equivalent to the Declaration of Independence for the more than 3,000 residents who live in Mission Park and adjacent neighborhoods,” said Michael Schneider, executive director of Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH), a nonprofit community development corporation. .
“Virtually all of the residential property in the area will now be owned by RTH, most of our housing units will remain affordable for low- and moderate-income tenants for the next 100 years, more job and educational opportunities will become available, and we’ll have full control of our own destiny,” he said. .
As part of its future development plans, the hospital is hoping to build a 10-story, 350,000 square foot clinical building directly across from BWH’s main entrance. .
“We are very thankful for the support we have received from Mayor Menino, State Representative Fitzgerald, Harvard Medical School and the leadership of Partners HealthCare System,” said Otten. “Without their collective advocacy, we could not have managed this complex agreement.” .
The first homes are expected to be moved in mid-September and be complete by year’s end.