Virtually every City Council candidate has made affordable housing a key part of their platform, but none have given us a concrete plan to get us there. Given the urgency of this crisis, that’s not a viable strategy for preserving the city we know and love.
The housing crisis we face today is not merely a supply problem, and we should eschew absolutist labels such as NIMBY and YIMBY that tend to drive us further apart. Instead, we should work together toward finding creative solutions.
The city has been blocked – at least temporarily – from tearing down Vail Court, two boarded-up, rat-infested buildings empty for more than a decade near Central Square. Work was to have begun Monday.
The city’s affordable housing policy over the past 20 years has been disastrous. Family and neighbors are being forced out as developers and investors enrich themselves. This is not sustainable, and drastic action is required to save our community.
Though he’s lived in Cambridge only two years, candidate Josh Burgin says a background in Florida state and county governments will allow him to serve capably on the City Council.
The prospect of putting affordable housing near Harvard Square on former divinity school land looks even more expensive, complicated and outright unlikely after an analysis by the current owners, despite an all-in vote by six city councillors.
With an expectation that Cambridge will grow to a population of around 140,000 within the next 30 years, City Councillor Dennis Carlone said that if reelected he hopes to spend the next two-year term focused on housing and the development master plan.
As Cambridge has become more expensive, people have moved away, replaced by residents who are not as involved with community, candidate Ronald Benjamin says. In addition, gentrification that makes minority and lower-income populations feel out of place.
Political radio talk-show host Jeffrey Santos says he has the connections and experience to collaborate with the state and neighboring city governments to improve public infrastructure and services – and will prove it as a city councillor.
Like many candidates for City Council, Gwen Volmar has affordable housing at the top of her platform. She learned firsthand how difficult it can be to live in Cambridge when moving here 10 years ago, and now helps others struggling with the cost and paperwork.