CDC detractors need a reality check

By Rosalie Tirella

As the develppers who want to weaken CDCs get even more intent on decreasing their numbers in Worcester, it’s important to remember this: Around half of Worcester residents are eligible for CDC housing. Many of our families our headed by working moms or dads and they still can’t find a nice apartment that is affordable. Our public school students are incredibly mobile. That is, a majority of our kids never graduate from the elementary school where they first began their student lives, the Worcester public elementary schools where they began kindergarten.

Why?

Because their families are always two steps ahead of landlords who are evicting them from their Worcester apartments because of nonpayment of rent.

Why?

Because $850 and $900 is a lot of money for a cold water flat. People are always looking for apartments in Worcester – and leaving them. If Worcester developers were doing such a great job of meeting Worcester’s rental housing needs, we would not have this HOUSING CRISIS. This FAMILY CRISIS. THIS POVERTY CRISIS.

Let’s go back to the families who are on the lam – with their kids in tow:

How can a child learn in school if there is a domestic crisis raging behind the scenes? A crisis that will also send him or her to another Worcester public school in another part of the city, where they will have to get to know routines all over again, make new friends all over again, miss old pals and, of course, be a grade or two behind other kids who are fortunate enough to be living in an OK apartment.

Also, more than half of our public school students are eligible for the Free Lunch program.

Where are these folks gonna go, if the CDCs wither on the vine? Do you think the developers will pick up the slack? No! They contribute to the problem.

We also need a JOBS DISCUSSION. WE NEED GOOD PAYING JOBS. WE NEED TO RAISE THE STATE MINIMUM WAGE TO $10 AN HOUR.

Let’s face it. Most of the factory jobs are gone – the jobs that paid good wages even if you couldn’t read or write or do math all that well. The jobs that created a solid working class. Jobs that gave the unskilled little homes in places like Lawrence, Lowell, Worcester. The kind of jobs that allowed for family stability – enough stability so maybe the kids could be the first to go to college.

Those jobs are gone. We have to pump up the McJobs. We have to pay folks more money so they are not living in brutal circumstances.

The CDCs slaying is just at the tip of the iceberg – the iceberg to make the lives of the working poor/working class harder.

We need a JOBS/WAGE discussion.

Then our housing  problem may solve itself.

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