Food For Thought

As a Community Engagement Manager, I often use food as a simple tool to connect with others. So when we welcomed our new Director of Community Engagement and Collective Impact, Vicente Sanabria to TND last month, I was happy to hear that he is a foodie,  Whenever you meet him, ask him about the mango experience on Shirley Ave. I promise you it’s entertaining.

These are snapshots of Vicente’s visits to Revere so far:

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Here is Vicente’s first office visit with Director of Revere CARES Sylvia Chiang where he and Sylvia exchanged pleasantries in español. Sylvia shared that her grandfather was Chinese though she herself doesn’t speak the language or cook much Chinese cuisine at home. While at work, her go to Asian restaurant in Shirley Ave neighborhood is Thmor Da.

Here is Vicente at the home of Kristen Janjar, a TND Revere Board member. To make this less business like and more welcoming, the Janjars opened up their home to us and fellow TND Revere Board member, Tech Leng,  for dinner to get to know the new guy. Rachid Janjar made an delicious impression when he served up pressured cooked chicken curry with potatoes. Check out this tasty Moroccan dish pronounced gah-mee-lah,(my best guest, chicken tangine) and this TND selfie. Aren’t we lucky?

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Vicente, Rachid Janjar, Kristen Janjar, Samir Janjar, Tech Leng and Nora Janjar.jpg

Just food for thought...can we use food to increase social connectivity in our communities? If yes? How?

MACDC + CET + CHELSEA

On Wednesday night, at the monthly Community Enhancement Team (CET) meeting, Pamela Bender from the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) visited the group to learn about what they wanted to see at the upcoming MACDC convention.  There was excellent conversation and tremendous leadership was shown as many CET members spoke up and conveyed the concerns and desires of their community. The group highlighted some topics that interested them most: Green Communities, Race Conversations, Residents Working with the City, Facilitation, Gentrification, Working with the Media and more!   Pam was receptive and attentive to everything that was said and and even stated "after hearing from all of you, I want to move to Chelsea".  Thank you Pam Bender and MACDC valuing community voices.  

In addition to the visit from MACDC and the advocacy of the group, there was another heartening aspect of the CET meeting -- their initiative and dedication.  Chelsea resident Mui Chhua facilitated a large part of the meeting, and it was truly inspirational to see her leading the group through their planning process.  The group has plans for some significant transformation projects in 2018, starting with Jefferson street near Soldiers' Home.  The CET has decided to adopt part of Jefferson St in 2018, along with 3 other adopt-a-spot locations that they already care for: one on Willow St, one at Bellingham Hill and one by the Highland stairs.  The group brainstormed and planned, and several members volunteered to take the lead on various next steps.  The vision, initiative and dedication of this group is like no other!  Be part of their movement -- follow them on facebook (www.facebook.com/pg/chelseacet), come to their next meeting on 4/18, or join them on Earth Day on 4/21!

Spring Love

#LoveYourNeighbor Campaign

Happy first day of SPRING friends! For our local members, I’m sure news of our fourth Nor’easter makes us wonder if spring will ever reach our neighborhoods. Spring may not be in our reach, but love is blooming everywhere. I’m talking about the love that springs from neighbors helping out neighbors. This love is about compassion for one another. In my short professional career in community development, I have found that it’s hard to teach compassion but this is the very thing that motivates us to perhaps step out of our comfort zone, expand our network, or elevate our guiding principles into action steps. Many times we only highlight our recognizable heroes but what about the folks who are doing good everyday and making our world a little better for all rather than some?

Take our young member, Henry Lopez, for example. He and his family are active participants in the Shirley Ave neighborhood revitalization efforts. He’s really young and for some, it’s easy to discount his presence in a neighborhood clean up or community meeting but as you will see, he’s absorbing the actions of those around him.  A couple weeks back his mom shared with me a piece of Henry’s school work and inspired me to keep at it; keep including folks at the decision making table, keep empowering those around me, keep on connecting neighbors to neighbors, and keep on doing what you love because the results may surprise you.

Henry loves his neighborhood and it’s having a Henry in my neighborhood that warms my heart.

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Let’s honor folks like Henry.  In support of TND’s 40th anniversary in building homes, opportunities, and  a sense of community. I’m happy to launch our Love Your Neighbor Campaign. Help me recognize that unsung hero in your neighborhood. Send me a message and we’ll coordinate on giving thanks to our neighborhood heroes. You can reach me at vhuot@tndinc.org.

Rising Star - Sharon Fosbury

MACDC's Pam Bender surprises our very own Sharon Fosbury last night by hand delivering their 2017 Rising Star Award to her at the CET(Community Enhancement Team) meeting last night. It was incredible to watch Sharon in her element and community members co-lead with Sharon. The love in the room was palpable, as new members/TND tenants(thanks to Monica) are warmly welcomed by  CET members, as they rejoiced in Sharon's award, and as they share their reasons on why they love Chelsea. #LoveEverythingChelsea

You can see Sharon's reaction in the link below. Last night, this video post reached 183 people and as of this morning, 837 people saw this post on their Facebook news feed with 421 views of the actual video. This post also captured the attention one of Neighborworks America's  staff and she shared it as well. If you are on Facebook and want to show love to Sharon(who is not on FB), please hit the like or love button.

https://www.facebook.com/TNDinc/videos/10155506166492634/

 
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Americorps Service at TND

The Neighborhood Developers has been working to overhaul our approach to financial education. A previous VISTA undertook research to help identify a path forward to increase the impact of our classes. VISTA John Murray is playing a key role in helping us define, pilot, adapt, and learn from the application of behavioral science principles to our work. He is managing the overall learning process, personally developed and launched a financial education class that meets certain internally-developed requirements, offers insights based on his experience of course delivery, and provides feedback to others on their own classes. This is an experimental year for us, and the work undertaken now by our VISTAs is helping us set a new direction for an area of work that we long felt needed it. John is simultaneously developing project management skills while moving an important new piece of work forward.

The Neighborhood Developers has helped community members access public benefits for several years, but our reach has been far outpaced by the magnitude of the "SNAP gap," i.e. the estimated number of families eligible for food stamps who are not accessing this important source of support. Last year the State changed its criteria for allocating formula funding to low-income school districts, with the result that many school districts are seeing funding cuts unless they can demonstrate that their low-income families meet the new definition. One way to meet the definition is by receiving SNAP.

With this alignment of interests, TND has partnered with the public school system to help identify eligible school families and help them through the application process. Jarelis Fonseca, who has learned the SNAP application process backward and forward, is our point person for monitoring this pipeline and improving the process, from handoffs to tracking, so we can assist more of these families.

 

 Jarelis Fonseca

Jarelis Fonseca

 John Murray

John Murray

We Are Family

Hello friends,

Over the last couple of months, the Revere Community Committee members have had to adapt to a few staff transitions over on our end. One thing is clear while I was away though, this resident group is more than a working committee, they have become FAMILY. Like any family gathering, we have our good moments and our growth moments. We argue, we laugh, we love--we are family!

They welcomed me back with open arms at the end of last year but immediately made their demands, like a group of elder siblings will do. They wanted me to expand our family(umm, I mean network). So in January, I promised them that I’ll do my part to expand the network so long as they do the same, together we are going to grow. They added an additional challenge, they asked me to invite Mayor Brian Arrigo and his new staff member, Nick Romano, to come to our meetings. They wanted to get updates on the Walnut Ave Park project (a project that is near and dear to some of members). and other beautification projects they initiated.

With some diligence, I set out to expand the network and we had a few new faces at our last community meeting in February. And guess what?? Nick Romano AND Mayor Arrigo joined us. The Mayor shared updates on funding coming into the Shirley Ave neighborhood via the MassWorks grant to address infrastructure needs and $750K in community benefits from a development project at the former Shaw’s site. He also affirmed the latter funding would go towards the Walnut Ave Park(joyfully squealing on the RCC’s behalf)  and rehab Curtis Lee Park near the neighborhood’s local elementary school.

Just in case the membership didn’t get enough good news, the Mayor gladly pointed out that one of our own members just became the city planner, Tech Leng, and he gave a nod to the talent in the room. We also had another unexpected visitor,  Senator Joe Boncore who when asked, what do you love about Revere, he mentioned, “the paradigm shift” and his excitement to be connecting with a group like the RCC. The Senator’s visit prompted, a shocked “oh” from active member, Jan Dumas, and the Mayor was quick to point out the difference in reception good naturedly. Both said they didn’t plan on staying long but the RCC can be captivating and before either of them knew it, they stayed to end for a family portrait committed one of their staff members to join the RCC at all future meetings. Talk about growing the network!

2018 will bring many opportunities to this network of neighbors but there is not doubt there is room for growth, love lives in Revere. This group continues to demonstrate, there is room for more. If you want to be in the network and get involved join the membership.

Warm regards,

Vanny, Community Engagement Manager

 

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Happy International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day to all the wonderful folks who are doing their part in the world. To our unsung mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, mentors and more, thank you!  

We wanted to send a special shout out to some of the women who joined us for coffee at #525Beach. It was an exciting cultural exchange! It was really heartwarming to hear so much commonality from a diverse crowd. One of the most common beliefs is to “love and respect your neighbors”.  #LoveYourNeighbor #Community #Internationalswomensday #UnsungHeroes

-Vanny, CE Manager and Monica, RS Manager

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Homes at 242 Spencer

Homes are the cornerstone of health and opportunity. 2018 marks The Neighborhood Developers’ (TND) 40th year bringing homes to Chelsea. Under Construction at 242 Spencer, the framework for  high-quality, well-managed homes is being erected. TND’s newest affordable rental housing development, consisting of 34 units, all at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with 11 units restricted to extremely low-income households at or below 30 percent of AMI.

242 Spencer is located in a mixed-use neighborhood that provides excellent access to Chelsea’s four public elementary schools and public transportation, including two MBTA bus routes that connect residents to the MBTA Blue Line and other points in Chelsea, Revere and East Boston. Within a five-minute walk of the development site are local shopping options, public parks, and Beth Israel Deaconness’ Chelsea medical facilities. The City of Chelsea has demonstrated support for the development of affordable apartments at 242 Spencer as a means to create lasting affordability for current Chelsea residents and for those from neighboring communities that are facing the regional pressure of rapidly growing housing costs.

TND will partner with Housing Families to provide services to families in eight units reserved for formerly homeless or at-risk families.

In The Press

 

A special thanks to our funders:

  • Equity: RBC Tax Credit Equity Group

  • Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits: The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

  • Tax-Exempt Bond Financing: MassDevelopment

  • Construction and Permanent Financing: Boston Private Bank

  • Subordinate Debt: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation; and North Suburban HOME Program

  • Predevelopment, Acquisition and Construction Financing: The Life Initiative

 

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CityLab: HUD May Push New Work Requirements for Public Housing Residents
A draft budget document obtained by CityLab would also raise rents for millions of people who receive housing aid, including the country’s most vulnerable residents.

NationalSafetyCouncil: Celebrating Lost Loved Ones
We are losing far too many loved ones to the opioid epidemic. In 2016, we lost over 37,814 people; people we love and care about. While we cannot bring them back, we can honor them and continue to educate the public on the dangers of opioids.

MIT: 12-year Study Looks At Effects Of Universal Basic Income
$25 million will be given to participants, with no strings attached.

JCHS: Is Rent Growth Finally Slowing?
Rents rose faster than inflation in almost three-quarters of the nation's major housing markets, according to analyses done for our latest America's Rental Housing report.

FastCompany: This Nonprofit Offers Tax Help To Low-Income Parents In Pediatricians’ Waiting Rooms
StreetCred is all about bundling two necessary resources–healthcare and financial assistance–in one central place.

CityLab: Are We Worried Sick About the Rent?
New research finds that housing instability can affect the mental and physical health of family members of all ages.

ChelseaRecord: Major Recycler Cheering Plastic Bag Bans, Including Chelsea’s Potential One
One of the largest recycling plants in the nation, Casella Waste in Charlestown, is hailing the recent spate of plastic bag bans in the area, including the discussions happening right now in Chelsea about a potential ban.

What Matters: Investing in Results to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities
This book is dedicated to the idea that all children are born with bright eyes and that the ultimate “outcome” is keeping their eyes bright for a lifetime.

 

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

BostonGlobe: 34 affordable housing units going up in Chelsea
The Neighborhood Developers are constructing a four-story, 34-unit affordable apartment building on the site of the former French Naturalization Club at 242 Spencer Ave.

CityLab: Does America Have a Caste System?
Many Americans would be appalled to think that caste might exist in the supposedly meritocratic U.S. But is the country’s persistent, entrenched inequality really so different?

The Telegraph: Jeremy Corbyn announces Labour will buy every homeless person in the country a house
Labour will buy every homeless person in the UK a house if the party is elected, Jeremy Corbyn has announced.

HousingWire: Renters take over nearly 25% of major U.S. cities
Rentership growth outpacing homeownership in 97 of top 100 cities.

Brookings: THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION: A demographic bridge to America’s diverse future
The millennial generation, over 75 million strong is America’s largest—eclipsing the current size of the postwar baby boom generation

538: Fewer Crimes Get Counted When Police Are Slow To Respond
A 911 call was made at 11:09 p.m. on October 15, 2015, to report a battery incident involving a relatively minor use of force.

Forbes: The Cities Where African-Americans Are Doing The Best Economically 2018
The 2007 housing crisis was particularly tough on African-Americans, as well as Hispanics, extinguishing much of their already miniscule wealth. Industrial layoffs, particularly in the Midwest, made things worse.

JCHS: What Would it Take to Overcome Exclusionary Barriers, and Promote More Affordable Options in All Neighborhoods?
What would it take to make new neighborhoods, and remake old ones, so that large, complex, metropolitan areas moved decisively toward racial and economic integration?

BUToday: Leaders of US Cities Worried about Lack of Affordable Housing
If you want to get mayors of US cities talking, says BU political scientist David Glick, ask them about affordable housing.

ChicagoTribune: Caught in a 'Dream'
We asked 41 'Dreamers' about their homes, their birthplaces and DACA. Here's what they said.

Boston Magazine: Boston Appeared on Zillow’s List of Cities with Housing Markets at “Crisis Levels”
Surprisingly, plenty of other places are worse off than us.

CityLab: How Student Loans Are Killing Homeownership
It’s really not the avocado toast: Ballooning college debt is keeping Millennials from buying more houses.

BostonBusinessJournal: U.S. Conference of Mayors taps Walsh to lead housing committee
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has tapped Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh as chair of the council’s committee on housing.

ChelseaRecord: Momentum for Plastic Bag Ban Grows, Not Everyone on Board
A major first jab at banning plastic shopping bags took place at City Hall on Tuesday night, Jan. 23, and many believe that momentum is gathering for the ban.

RevereJournal: Sen Boncore Appointed Chair of Transportation
With a major international airport, highway, toll plaza and the MBTA Blue Line in his district it made sense for Senate President Harriette Chandler to appoint Sen.

EverettIndependent: Mayor, Council Look to Study Bringing in Linkage Fees
Mayor Carlo DeMaria and the City Council are bringing back an idea with a long history in the annals of Everett City government – that being Linkage Fees charged to commercial developers.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

WashingtonPost: New survey of mayors shows most are concerned about lack of affordable housing
Many of the nation’s mayors are concerned about the price of housing and the ability of residents to afford living in their cities, according to a survey of more than 100 mayors from across the country.

BostonGlobe: Walsh aims to rein in short-term rental market
In a bid to ease Boston’s persistent housing shortage, Mayor Martin J. Walsh is seeking to rein in Airbnb and other online services that have turned thousands of apartments and condos into de facto hotel rooms.

WGBH: Medicaid Work Requirements Perpetuate A 'Vicious Cycle' Of Poverty
It’s the faces that get to me. The resigned faces of the women lined up waiting to be served at the Pine Street Inn.

Bloomberg: How Helsinki uses a board game to promote public participation
When mayors talk about “citizen engagement,” two things usually seem clear: It’s a good thing and we need more of it.

CityLab: The Psychology of Boston's Snow Parking Wars
In Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, an informal code allows residents to claim a parking space after shoveling it out. But the practice is often at odds both with the law and with the mores of changing neighborhoods.

VOX: The real victims of government shutdowns are poor kids, military vets, and low-paid workers
The third day of the federal shutdown has already started disrupting the lives of Americans all across the country.

JCHS: Really?! Ten Surprising Findings from the America's Rental Housing Report
Following the release of our America's Rental Housing report last month, one of the most common questions has been: "Which findings are new or surprising to you?"

WickedLocal: LETTER: More affordable housing projects like Frost Terrace needed
A Better Cambridge congratulates the entire Cambridge community for the unanimous zoning board approval of the Frost Terrace housing development at 1791 Massachusetts Ave. in Porter Square.

CNBC: Nearly half of young millennials get thousands in secret support from their parents
Forget buying a home — even renting a room is out of reach to many young people, especially in big cities. Wages have stagnated but rents haven't, meaning workers just out of college are in a bind: To live where the jobs are, they need help.

HealthDay: Can't Pay the Rent? Kids' Health May Suffer
Millions of American families struggle to find and keep stable housing -- and the fight to do so may end up harming kids' health.

Bloomberg: What Works Cities
In cities across the United States, mayors lack the tools to use data and evidence to improve how governing gets done.

CityLab: Immigration Raids, Coming to a Store Near You
Immigration officials said purpose of their raids on 7-Elevens was to target employers. The evidence suggests otherwise.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPERS TO BUILD CHELSEA AFFORDABLE HOUSING WITH MASSDEVELOPMENT BOND

Press Release from MassDevelopment

MassDevelopment has issued a $6,885,580 tax-exempt bond for The Neighborhood Developers (TND), a nonprofit community development organization in Chelsea. TND is using bond proceeds to buy and demolish a building at 242 Spencer Avenue in Chelsea to build, furnish, and equip a four-story, 34-unit rental apartment facility in its place. All units will be available to households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income. MassDevelopment also assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of federal low-income housing tax credits that will provide about $4.9 million in equity for the project. Boston Private Bank purchased the bond. 

“This project combines two tenets of MassDevelopment’s mission: building and preserving affordable housing for Massachusetts communities, and transforming vacant and underused properties into active, attractive sites,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We are pleased to work with The Neighborhood Developers to provide affordable housing options in Chelsea, a lively and dynamic Gateway City.” 

Founded in 1979 in Chelsea, TND emphasizes building vibrant neighborhoods through an integrated approach to revitalization. The organization partners locally to build affordable apartments and mixed-income homes through its real estate development programs, improve financial mobility for residents through its CONNECT financial opportunity center, and create and foster community engagement and opportunity through neighborhood organizing efforts addressing issues ranging from litter on the street to community safety. In 2010, TND began working in the Shirley Avenue neighborhood in Revere and now offers all of its programs in both Chelsea and Revere. TND owns 346 apartments and has developed 38 homes for sale to first-time homebuyers. TND was also a lead developer for the Box District homes in Chelsea, a model transit-oriented housing development that received $1.5 million from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, which MassDevelopment administers on behalf of the Commonwealth. MassDevelopment previously provided a $5,825,000 tax-exempt bond for TND in 2016 to preserve, renovate, and build 52 units of affordable housing in Chelsea and Revere.

“Community progress occurs when residents and civic institutions join forces around aligned goals,” said Ann Houston, TND Executive Director.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

BostonGlobe: Zoning reform offers a path to economic equality and social integration
ZONING REFORM: SNORE. It’s not an issue that gets people “chanting and singing on the Boston Common,” as one of its supporters put it.

CityLab: The Great Crime Decline and the Comeback of Cities
Patrick Sharkey, author of Uneasy Peace, talks to CityLab about how the drop in crime has transformed American cities.

BostonGlobe: New MassHousing chief is right choice to tackle area’s inequities
Kudos to Governor Charlie Baker and MassHousing for choosing Chrystal Kornegay to lead the agency and take a fresh and critical look at Boston’s housing crisis (“Breaking tradition,” Metro, Jan. 10).

MACDC: Ten Priorities That Will Keep Macdc Busy In 2018
Now that we have celebrated the holiday season and endured the Bombogenesis storm, it is time to get serious about the business of 2018.

TheNewYorker: When Deportation Is a Death Sentence
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the U.S. may face violence and murder in their home countries. What happens when they are forced to return?

NewYorkTimes: What ‘Dreamers’ Say About the Great Immigration Debate
With jitters and with prayers, with countdown clocks in their heads and their immigration lawyers on speed-dial, hundreds of thousands of young immigrants have spent all fall and winter…

ChelseaRecord: Sen Elizabeth Warren Urges Congress to Restore Funding to Community Health Centers like EBNHC
An an Op-Ed that appeared in State News on Monday, Dec. 18, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren called House Republicans onto the carpet for halting federal funding…

EverettIndependent: Urban Renewal Plan Being Pitched for Everett Square, Commercial Triangle
Urban Renewal has a very negative association based on the sins of the distant past, but planners in Everett hope to show that just such an urban renewal plan could be a great tool…

MasLive: Local officials: How ending Community Development Block Grant Program could impact Massachusetts cities and towns
With Congress facing a Jan. 19 deadline to pass a spending bill and avoid a government shutdown, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, joined local officials from across the state…

Curbed: Here’s how HUD’s new housing voucher rule affects recipients
Data from NYU shows that in most of the 24 metro areas impacted, voucher recipients would have more and better options

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

WBUR: Boston-Area Rent Hikes Moderate, But Affordability Challenges Persist
Rent increases moderated in the Boston metro area this year, but affordability challenges for renters persist here and elsewhere, a national report shows.

CityLab: The Trump Administration Just Derailed a Key Obama Rule on Housing Segregation
HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing policy required communities to confront racial inequities in housing. Now, it’s being postponed.

Everett Independent: Everett Square Revitalization Plan to Hold Public Forum Jan 24
City staff and planning consultants from the BSC Group, Inc. will provide information on the Revitalization Plan and the issues to be addressed in the plan. 

UnitedWay: Help Them Stay Warm
Your donation to United Way’s Family Fund directly supports community-based organizations that provide heating assistance to families in need, including The Neighborhood Developers/CONNECT.

HousingPerspectives: Low-Cost Rental Housing Increasingly Difficult to Find
While rental markets are cooling nationally, market conditions remain extremely tight at the low end of the market, offering little relief to affordability pressures faced by renters with the lowest incomes, according to our new report, America’s Rental Housing 2017.

ChelseaRecord: Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit
What started as a summer get-together for neighbors near the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home neighborhood has turned into an effort that has logged many miles this fall within their community.

BostonGlobe: New MassHousing chief has an atypical background
Chrystal Kornegay is the the first woman and the first person of color to lead the quasi-public MassHousing agency.

NPR: Advocates Fear Tax Bill Will Worsen U.S. Affordable Housing Shortage
The U.S. faces a severe shortage of affordable housing, and housing advocates fear the recent tax bill and potential budget cuts will make matters worse.

UrbanInstitute: Why we need to expand, not restrict, access to housing assistance
Federal safety net programs are intended to protect the most vulnerable Americans—such as the elderly, people with severe disabilities, and young children—and stabilize those who have fallen on hard times and help them move to solid ground.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CityLab: Is the Rental Housing Explosion Over?
For the first time since 2005, growth in new rental housing slowed down. Are there really enough apartments to meet demand?

WBUR: Boston-Area Rent Hikes Moderate, But Affordability Challenges Persist
Rent increases moderated in the Boston metro area this year, but affordability challenges for renters persist here and elsewhere, a national report shows.

Chelsea Record: Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit
What started as a summer get-together for neighbors near the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home neighborhood has turned into an effort that has logged many miles this fall within their community.

RevereJournal: Arrigo and Mayors Coalition Look to Increase Housing Stock
Leaders from 14 cities and towns, including Revere, in the Greater Boston area have banded together to form the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition of Greater Boston to address housing stock, accessibility and affordability

Stong Towns: 5 Low Cost Ideas To Make Your City Wealthier
Today I'm flying home from my last trip of the year. Last night I spoke in Panama City, Florida to a large and enthusiastic group of people in a community struggling with some large development proposals. Their core frustration is a common one.

TheCrimeReport: You’re Safer in a ‘Sanctuary City,’ says New Study
In a rebuttal to government claims that “sanctuary” cities are breeding grounds for crime driven by undocumented immigrants, a new study says that residents of areas where authorities limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities are safer from violent death.

JCHS: America's Rental Housing 2017
A decade of unprecedented growth in the rental housing market may be coming to an end, according to our 2017 America’s Rental Housing report.

Everett Independent: Everett Wins Grant for Pilot Bus Rapid Transit Features in 2018
Everett has taken the initiative to be on the cutting edge of transforming its public transportation system, according to one influential Boston foundation…

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

NPR: How The House Tax Overhaul Bill Could Hurt Affordable Housing
With lawmakers in the House and Senate announcing that they've reached a deal, affordable housing advocates are anxiously waiting to see which version of the bill wins out with regard to housing.

CityLab: Economic Inequality and Health Inequality Are Inextricably Linked
It’s lack of economic opportunity that is dooming more Americans to “diseases of despair.”

Fast Company: America’s Affordable Housing Crisis Is Driving Its Homelessness Crisis
There’s a clear link between a lack of places to live and the number of people sleeping out of doors at night.

Urban.org: Debt in America: An Interactive Map
Debt in America: An Interactive Map

Housing Wire: HUD Secretary Carson launches centers to drive households to self-efficiency
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced a new initiative to help HUD-assisted families achieve self-efficiency.

WBUR: Gov. Baker Outlines Plan For 135,000 New Housing Units By 2025
Aiming for the construction of 135,000 new housing units by 2025, the Baker administration on Monday heralded $10 million in incentives to encourage cities and towns to promote development within their borders.

BostonGlobe: Boston Medical Center Has a New Prescription for its Most Vulnerable Patients: Housing
Boston Medical Center is embarking on a significant new initiative to tackle one of its patients' most daunting problems: a lack of stable housing.

CityLab: Homelessness in High-Cost U.S. Cities Is Driving a Nationwide Increase
Many Obama-era policies are keeping numbers low in smaller cities. But the new data comes in the wake of a GOP budget that does little to bolster affordable housing.

MaldenPatch:  Multi-Family Dwellings In Malden: Zoning Change Discussed Next Wk
The Malden Planning Board and Malden City Council Ordinance Committee will meet next week to discuss eight different zoning changes.

JCHS: Fostering Inclusion: Whose Problem? Which Problem?
Asking "what would it take"—about housing segregation or any other challenge— assumes, on some level, that we have adequate agreement that some condition or pattern is, in fact, a problem.

PBS: CEO pay down — to ‘only’ 271 times that of the typical worker
The CEOs of the top 350 U.S. firms made an average of $15.6 million in 2016. That’s according to a new report, released recently by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute that looks at total CEO compensation: salary, stock grants, bonuses and long-term incentive payouts.

NextCity: D.C. Mayor Has a Plan to Save 4,000 Affordable Housing Units
Affordable housing developers could be dealt a debilitating blow by the new federal tax bill, depending on how the House and Senate versions are reconciled before heading to President Trump’s desk.

 

Open The Door to Human Rights

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world...Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Today is Human Rights Day. Learn more about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which empowers us all, every day. http://bit.ly/19f9uJN #HomeMatters #StandUp4HumanRights #OpenTheDoor