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.
Most people commenting on an affordable housing proposal Monday seemed unaware there was a lot more to the idea than just negotiating a price with a divinity school leaving for New York City.
In the wake of a disastrous high-rise fire in London in which aluminum building cladding may be implicated, Cambridge officials are looking into similar material used in renovation of a Housing Authority development with elderly and disabled tenants.
The momentum of turning Vail Court into affordable housing continued Monday with the allocation of $750,000 to tear down the two boarded-up, rat-infested buildings and transfer of property to the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust for development.
For qualified applicants, HomeBridge offers financial assistance up to half of of the purchase price for three-bedroom units; 45 percent of the price for two-bedroom units; and 40 percent for one-bedroom units.
Facing a $1.6 million to $1.7 million shortfall in federal funding for a popular program that helps poor families rent apartments, the Cambridge Housing Authority has devised a complicated strategy to avoid cutting off people who already hold rent vouchers.