Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,
FRIT should be paying more towards affordable housing. Losing the 20% promised to those counting on the units, then dropped to 12%, then 6%, then told the units will be scattered throughout the city (I’m guessing under the control of SCC), is what taxpayers are upset about.
This is no way to run a city. I advocated for affordable housing to be built at the former Powderhouse Community School location.
Few residents of Ward 7 wanted it.
I’ll add that Mr. and Mrs. Short never said a word as I see they are always front and center to be advocating for affordable housing just as long as it’s not near their home on Packard Ave. and Tufts.
And when the owner of Marsala initiated a neighborhood meeting to ask if he could build more affordable units in his building in Teele Sq., Mr. Short had the gaul to ask the long time business owner and generous landlord, (who provided parking), how much he was planning to charge the new tenants like it was his business.
I find it comical that both try to claim they are for the less fortunate when they both could spare their $10k without concern. There are many homeowners that cannot afford to spare one dollar after all the shake downs enforced by this mayor with help by his loyal subjects.
Why don’t others like the Short’s who have so much to say about how the rest of us should spend our money, start a charity fund and all those homeowners who think $10k isn’t a lot of money donate even more.
NIMBYISM at it worst.
By the way— PHCS would have been a perfect site for affordable housing but the reason they didn’t want it is because it wouldn’t generate enough money.
From what I know of past meetings— how much money do you think a community theatre for young adults will create at this site?
How about a barbecue pit?
More start ups, an outdoor bike school, a playground for Tufts childcare center (not labeled that way but their center is a few steps away), an outdoor gym for adults and movie screen— all labeled as Community Area, while Tufts Administration Building occupies the adjacent property.
The blame goes directly to the city administration.
The director of planning ran these meetings for over a year at TAB. I attended every meeting after work, so did many homeowners.
It was all set up to force us to agree on whatever Tufts wanted. I was the most vocal because I worked for Tufts for 8 years and it was no vacation in the Bahamas.
Working in academia for over 20 years I learned a great deal about their so called “being a good neighbor”, equates to— it means give me more.
They wanted over 200 underground parking spaces under TAB for their change of plans from administrative offices to creating evening classrooms for Engineering or Elliot Pearson Child Development.
The change was due to their leadership balking at the notion they would have to leave Ballou Hall for Holland Street. So they presented a project that would mean we would be flooded with 200 additional commuters in our neighborhoods and Teele Sq. Anyone who has tried to get out of Cameron Ave., at 5:00 pm understands the nightmare traffic jam.
So when advocates for affordable housing complain that homeowners won’t go along with the transfer tax— ask the mayor and aldermen who voted for the PHCS site project and the hotel going at the burned out fire pit of former Hawks cleaners— why wasn’t more done to ensure affordable units were built at those two locations, and other locations around the city.
This is on the mayor, the board and the developers.
We working class homeowners should not have to shoulder this one.
I have provide you just two examples because they are in my Ward which I closely followed. How many more were handled with similar outcomes?
The mayor knew there was nothing in it for him as affordable housing and others in board positions to make a difference went along.
At least one hundred of affordable units could have been built at the PHCS. But the neighbors on Packard Ave ., didn’t want it. Because they said it would drop their home values. Other remarks were made which I’ll leave you to ponder. None of it good.
Some argued who would be eligible for units if for affordable housing….. that’s when the arguments began. There also lies a clear division among those who feel entitled to affordable housing within the artist community and those who must rely on it as a matter of survival. I wondered if the artists would be willing to share.
A Somerville Taxpayer Caught in the Line of Fire