HOUSING for FAMILIES, & GREEN SPACE???
Why, you might ask, are there question marks in the title of this article? Am I against having housing suitable for families (as opposed to the mainly studio apartments being built now)? Am I against having more green space (such as parks and places with deep-rooted trees, as opposed to a little grass on top of a parking garage, which is what Stop & Shop will install in its new Allston Yards development)?
No! I am FOR having more family-appropriate housing and more green space! But here's why there are those question marks in the title.
Some people and some neighborhood organizations (such as the BACC) are only serious about winning more family-appropriate housing and green space. They merely pretend to be serious about ending the gentrification that is driving working class people out of our neighborhood with the obscenely high rents that are caused by the proliferation of luxury housing (read here why the luxury housing drives up rents and property taxes for ALL housing.)
These pretenders ask only for 20% of affordable housing in new developments, which amounts to approving of 80% being un-affordable and approving of the ongoing gentrification; if they were not just pretending then they would demand what it really takes to end the gentrification--100% affordable housing in new developments.
And these pretenders remain silent about the fact that the City of Boston uses a deceitful definition of "affordable" to make it seem as if luxury housing units are affordable! This enables the City to pretend that it is (at least partially) giving in to the demands of the BACC. It's a cozy relationship between the big-money developers and the Mayor and the BACC!
The question is this:
Choice #1. Do we want our neighborhood to have family-friendly housing and green space that can be enjoyed ONLY by the relatively wealthy people (such as professors and lawyers and other upper middle class people who are currently the main type of person in control of our neighborhood organizations) who can afford to live here in spite of the gentrification?
Choice #2. Do we want our neighborhood to have family-friendly housing and green space that can be enjoyed by not only upper middle class people but ALSO the working class people who are being driven out by gentrification?
Unless people are advocating choice #2, which means fighting for 100% affordable housing and not just 20% in new developments, they are part of the problem, not part of the solution!