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Friday, February 7, 2014

Press Conference to Release New Report on Neighborhood Change Stimulated by Green Line Extension in Somerville

On Tuesday, February 11th at 5:00 pm, a press conference will be held outside the Argenziano School (290 Washington Street) in Somerville to release a seminal report about the impacts of the Green Line on the housing market: “Dimensions of Displacement: Baseline Data for Managing Neighborhood Change in Somerville’s Green Line Corridor”. This event will precede the second in a series of three public workshops hosted by Somerville Community Corporation (SCC), the City of Somerville, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) for community members and elected officials to discuss important issues related to housing for families and individuals in Somerville.

The new report, produced by MAPC in partnership with SCC and the City of Somerville over the past two years, offers major findings about the impacts that the Green Line Extension (GLX) will have on the housing market in Somerville, and will be released at the press conference.

During the workshop following the press conference, participants will take a close look at the findings from this report to discuss how displacement resulting from escalating housing markets has shaped Somerville’s history; and how the community can work together to ensure changes coming to Somerville benefit all segments of the city’s population.

“As Somerville’s appeal continues to grow and more young professionals and families look to Somerville as a place to live, work, play and raise a family, we must continue to protect those long-term residents who chose this city years ago while welcoming new additions to our community,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Housing costs are rising across the region, but in Somerville we will not stand by and let our lower-income or our working middle class families get pushed out. These forums, with critical input from our valued community members, will provide us with the indicators and information we need to pursue bold, effective, and forward-thinking housing policy. Somerville’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths, and we will ensure that we retain that diversity and that Somerville remains a home for all.”

“I live in a part of Somerville that is still relatively affordable and that has lots of families and children, unlike some other parts of the city,” said Leanne Darrigo, SCC member. “With the Green Line coming, I’ve been afraid of massive gentrification. I’ve watched a lot of people get pushed out of our neighborhoods and I don’t want to see that happen in my neighborhood. I’m happy to see events like these offered so that instead of leaning over the fence and grumbling to a neighbor, people can get out and educate themselves about issues like these that could really affect their lives”

“Growth is already happening in Somerville, and the Green Line extension will promote more. That’s great for the city – it creates homes for young workers, encourages companies to add jobs here, and boosts tax revenue. But, growth can increase the cost of housing, which is especially a problem for renters and seniors. So, we need to take steps now to expand the housing supply and preserve affordable apartments. It’s a challenge, but it can be done,” said Marc Draisen, MAPC’s Executive Director.

Residents and public officials of Somerville are encouraged to attend all of these forums- held on 2/4, 2/11 and 3/4 - and to contribute their thoughts and experiences related to these very important issues affecting our community.

All meetings will be held at the Argenziano School at 290 Washington Street in Somerville from 6:00-8:30 pm (doors open 5:30) and will include childcare, snacks, and interpretation services. These forums are funded in part by the US HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program.

For more information:

MAPC Contact: Jennifer Raitt, Assistant Director of Land Use Planning, Chief Housing Planner
Metropolitan Area Planning Council

SCC Contact: Meridith Levy, Deputy Director, Somerville Community Corporation
617-776-5931 x242
T: @SCC_Somerville
F: @SomervilleCommunityCorporation

City of Somerville Contact: Dana LeWinter, Director of Housing, City of Somerville
617-625-6600 x2565


Anonymous said...

The orange line has not produced gentrification in Somerville's Sullivan Square area.

Anonymous said...

....because it was built back when and before the out of control private owners residential enhanced assessments kicked in resulting in higher rents and taxes; and/or homeowners selling out to the condo-multi-developers.

Technically, Sullivan Square itself is part of Charlestown not Somerville. However, granted, many Somerville housing and commercial entities are contiquously impacted.

That end of Somerville, historically, has always been low rent housing; as was nearby Charlestown. That may also change.

As we "speak" the east side of Charlestown, navy yard, etc., has allready been high income gentrified.
A matter of time before it $$$$$ "creeps" into the Charlestown side of Sullivan Square.