Tag Archives: affordable housing policy

Good news: The problems facing the Main South CDC are troublesome but not fatal

By Barbara Haller, Main South Community Development Corporation Board member, former District 4 City Councilor and Main South resident

The Main South CDC continues to work on strengthening its neighborhood in many rich and exciting ways.  The MSCDC continues to manage a large portfolio of affordable and livable apartments and to support home ownership.  The MSCDC is part of a growing community collaborative to improve educational outcomes of its children.   In short:  the Main South CDC is alive and kicking.

Bad News: The public altercation between the Main South’s CDC executive director Steve Teasdale and board member Billy Breault  was regretful.  If I could turn the clock back and make it not happen I surely would.

Steve has led the organization from the beginning. While progress in Main South has been all about teamwork,  you would be heardpressed to find anyone who would deny that Steve – his dedication, intelligence, talent and controlled ego – is the leader of the pack that made it all happen.

Billy has been the voice of public safety and neighborhood development.  He is both a leader and a cheerleader for Main South.  He lives in Main South.  His parents lived in Main South.  He is tried and true in his burning loyalty to his neighborhood and City.  He was Chair of MSCDC Board for many years and always a Board member.  He has represented the MSCDC very well.

But lines were crossed last month when Billy verbally attacked and threatened Steve – first in a voice mail and then in the MSCDC parking lot.  The partnership broke, the team fell apart.  The media were notified and fed information, it became a “story” to be reported.  The reasons for anger and extreme hostility?  Who ever really knows why these things happen, but there was mention of unsafe intersection in the neighborhood where Billy’s partner’s family was injured, there was mention of the   painfully drawnout federal audit of the MSCDC’s use of block grant, there was mention of the MSCDC’s involvement in Main South Promise Neighborhood, there was mention of the MSCDC’s pending sale of 93 Grand Street.  So it appears that this outburst had been festering for some time.

As an active Board member of the MSCDC I can assure everyone that neighborhood outreach continues to keep residents, businesses, and partners informed and engaged.  Likewise I affirm that the MSCDC is finding ways to address the troublesome intersection, is engaged in getting to the final needs of the federal audit, is committed to strong partnership in Main South Promise Neighborhood, and is working on the sale of 93 Grand Street to stabilize the MSCDC’s financial position on this property.  All with Board knowledge and support.  No secrets, no misconduct.

Those of us connected to the Main South CDC and to Billy Breault are saddened.   Both are good.  Both make great contributions to our City.  Together isn’t working anymore.  But life will go on.  The Main South CDC will survive.  Billy will find new ways to boost Main South.

Sigh.

 

And don’t forget, re: Worcester’s proposed housing policy …

the Worcester City Council meets tomorrow at 7 p.m., City Hall, 3rd floor, Main Street. You can “testify” on pertinent city issues before the council meeting begins in earnest at 7 p.m. Just get there at 6:45/6:30 p.m and put your name on “the list.” I hope folks get up and speak up for the kind of affordable housing Worcester needs! And how the CDCs fill the housing gap. Three or four developers (one who lives in Wayland!!!) should not be the only people bending the ears of city councilors or City Manager Mike O’Brien. O’Brien has been treating the CDCs like dirt for months now with a kind of passive aggressiveness that is unprofessional and disheartening. He has, however, been empowering real estate moguls like Artie Mooradian, a good egg but whose apartments are EXPENSIVE for so many families in our city!!!! WE ALL NEED TO SPEAK UP AND HAVE SOME SAY IN THE PROCESS. If we don’t, families and blue collar folks will be shut out of Worcester or, even worse, the city will get tougher, meaner. Crimes like break ins and armed robberies will go up because folks will not have the $$$ to survive. Paying your rent should not leave you hungry or too poor to pay your electricity or gas bill (rent for most flats/apts in Wusta don’t include utilities/gas) or buy shoes and clothing for your kids.

also, The Worcester Common Ground CDC hosts a cookout, area walking tour in honor of their Austin Corridor project. It’s at  3 p.m. tomorrow, at the corner of Austin and Newbury streets – in the CDC’s tot lot. Be there to learn the truth about our CDCs, such as there ARE INCOME THRESHOLDS renters/prospective condo owners must meet! And see their fab grounds, units!  Click here for more info! – R. Tirella

 

 

 

One ICTimes reader writes …

“I have to Wonder … “

I have to wonder if Worcester is more and more resembling Lawrence, New Bedford and Springfield.

Let’s KEEP adding more panhandlers and encourage our school age children that panhandling isn’t just a good livelihood, it’s the best Worcester can offer!

Also, let’s salvage what federal housing dollars we do get by secretly stowing into city and hidden pseudo-agencies.

Let’s give illegal immigrants rights, insurance and education so that the folks trying to do it legally don’t have a fair chance.

And let’s never propose a housing plan for the renter majority that utilizes the free market and entrepreneurship.

Let’s squander our money the right way.

This is what happens when one party rules for decades promising Santa Claus every November.

Jim May
Worcester