“Affordable Housing in Cambridge: At the Epicenter of Development and Demand” panelists

A Saturday panel discussion on “Affordable Housing in Cambridge: At the Epicenter of Development and Demand” includes Aaron Gornstein, top, and Andre Leroux, middle, and Boston Globe columnist Dante Ramos as moderator.

A Better Cambridge, a group advocating for “smart growth,” plans a Saturday panel discussion on “Affordable Housing in Cambridge: At the Epicenter of Development and Demand” and an Oct. 17 candidates forum focused on similar issues.

A citywide development master plan is getting underway amid a booming real estate market and growing population, and low- and middle-income families are struggling to stay residents. A wait list for affordable public housing has been put at 7,385 applicants, although the figure was put at 6,000 at a City Council meeting Monday.

“How can we ensure that new development in Cambridge serves the housing needs of all families, including those with lower incomes?” the group asked in announcing the events. “How does this relate to other important development issues – density, walking, biking and public transit, parking and creating exciting, walkable neighborhoods?”

The forum, to be moderated by Boston Globe op-ed columnist Dante Ramos, includes Aaron Gornstein, president and chief executive of the Preservation of Affordable Housing organization and the state’s former undersecretary for housing and community; Andre Leroux, executive director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance; and Ed Marchant, an affordable housing development consultant and adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

There may be additional panelists, event organizers said.

This panel will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Information is here.

The forum for candidates running for City Council in the November elections is to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Broad Institute, 415 Main St., Kendall Square.

It is focused on development and housing because “Cambridge stands at a crossroads, and the next City Council will play a major role in determining the future diversity, sustainability and character of our city,” organizers said. “As we look to this November’s municipal election, residents want to understand how all City Council candidates approach the development challenges and opportunities facing our city.”


This post was written from a press release.