Pine Street to take control of Savin Hill elderly home

The Tuttle House, an 26-unit elderly housing facility in Savin Hill, is set to be transferred to the Pine Street Inn, New England's largest non-profit for the homeless, which plans to invest $300,000 in renovations at the site, according to members of the Tuttle House's board.

Two members of the 14-member board that currently governs the facility say its mission will stay the same was part of the deal.

"It's a place for frail elders," said Bill O'Shea, president of the board. "Things have to stay the same."

Paul Sullivan Housing Trust, which oversees housing development for the Pine Street Inn, plans to spend $300,000 in improvements to the facility, including adding an elevator, fixing the windows and door system and building additional bathroom space. The organization is also picking up the Tuttle's outstanding loans, totaling about $880,000.

State Rep. Marty Walsh (D-Dorchester), a board member who lives on the same street as the Tuttle House and has worked with Pine Street Inn in the past, said someone would be hired to do maintenance and live there full-time. Another person would also be hired to deal with clinical work.

A spokeswoman for the Pine Street Inn, which has about 26 permanent supportive housing sites throughout Boston and Brookline, said the two organizations have an "agreement in principle." The deal will likely be finalized over the next two to three months.

"It's just time," O'Shea said of the deal, adding that he felt board members were just not up to the task of raising the large amount of funds needed to fix up the place. "We're not professionals. We did the best we could."

Two of the Tuttle House's board members will be heading over to the Pine Street Inn's board as part of the deal.

Property management company Corcoran Jennison is currently maintaining the facility, with Kit Clark Senior Services providing much of the work.

The board previously fielded proposals from Caritas Communities and Bay Cove, which owns Kit Clark Senior Services, before settling on Pine Street Inn.