PUBLIC HEARD AT HOME RULE PETITION HEARING FOR CLARENDON HILL HOUSING ON PROJECT

Photo:Residents displaying “Proud Clarendon Resident” T-shirts

By William Tauro

Members of the public were invited to attend a joint public hearing held by the Board of Aldermen’s Committees on Legislative Matters and Finance this past Monday night to present comments on a Home Rule Petition relative to the Somerville Housing Authority’s Clarendon Hill Public Housing Project.

The public hearing began at 6 p.m., in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall located at 93 Highland Avenue where over two hundred residents from Somerville and other cities and towns as well as union workers and developers for and against the proposed project.

The members of the Board of Aldermen and its Legislative Matters Committee heard all comments from the general public with regard to the proposed Home Rule Petition, the proposed project, the selected development team, and the Somerville Housing Authority.

Related to the proposed redevelopment was a request from the developers for financial assistance from the City of Somerville totaling approximately $10 Million and a request for approval of a land transfer from the state of a parcel of open space for the purpose of building a portion of the proposed housing with the condition that the parcel will be replaced with other open space on the site of the redevelopment.

Many speakers voiced their concerns and opinions are listed below:

“Developers won’t bargain in good faith with working people, than the project should be stopped.”

“ Until Red Gate can sit down and negotiate and bargain with the Business Trade Council it should be put on hold.”

“Put the entire proposal on hold because its a bad deal in its present form.”

But mostly all argued that “The present housing conditions are in a shameless state and its definitely time to fix it!”

Members of the Building Trades Council and unions also argued that “Let’s go back to the table and renegotiate in good faith!”

People also argued that they want government and the developers to abide by laws that we have and be more transparent in what they do.

Those opposed as well as those for it said that “They’re not against public housing but just against the form that it’s being presented in.”

Many of the public speaking out, some for and some against the petition, but both agree and told the Board of Aldermen that they would be for the project as long as the same rules apply to the developer for safe and healthy housing for its residents.

Many also agreed that the current buildings should be torn down and rebuilt but under better terms.

Photos of deplorable conditions at the housing complex listed below were distributed amongst the crowd:

Letters that were distributed at the hearing listed below:

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