Tag Archives: affordable housing

Meeting Tim, Worcester’s economic development czar

By Rosalie Tirella

Yesterday, at the Worcester Common Ground CDC celebration at the CDC’s tot lot in the heart of our inner city, I got a chance to button-hole, “interview” the city’s two economic development guys. Guys I had been trying to track down the day before at ol City Hall. I had some questions about the city’s new take on building affordable housing for Woo residents. After all, almost half of Worcester’s population is eligible for affordable housing.

First Miguel Rivera, a guy who works for economic development czar Tim Mcgourthy. It was such a pretty day yesterday! Everyone seemed to be having such a good time at the CDC tot lot! You would think all the food and good vibes would have loosened Rivera up some. Nope. All smiles, he offered nothing of value. Said he couldn’t and wouldn’t discuss the city’s CDCs. Said he wasn’t allowed to.

After the event, I checked my email. I had gotten an email from his city hall secretary, Amanda R. Amanda said Miguel wanted to know what questions I would be asking him if I interviewed him. Better yet, could I email her the questions?

Who are these pointless people? I mean, is this New York City? Are we living in Gotham, for cripe’s sake? Third-tier Worcester deserves at the very least workman like, basic, human interactions. Nothing fancy. Stop the games and let me ask a guy, a city employee, some fucking questions in his fucking office. Public’s right to know and all. I answered Amanda’s email. Told her I had button holed Miguel at a city event and that people like her made city government … pointless. Were a detriment to citizens understanding their city. Thanks for nothing.

Why are so many women TOOLS? I mean, you can be a secretary and still think for yourself!

2. Tim Mcgourthy, Worcester’s Chief Economic Development czar. The guy who holds the keys, or at least some of them, when it comes to housing and business development in our city.

I was pleasantly surprised. Tim is a nice guy. Very nice guy. Awfully friendly. I would call him down to earth and even sweet. He is the kinda guy women call adorable. At the event yesterday, he gave a very nice little speech in support of the work the WCG CDC was doing. He hung around and talked with folks and he let me ask him questions and tell him my reservations about the city’s affordable housing policy, new and supposedly improved.

Tim said he supports the CDCs but that he wants to open up the affordable housing building game to more peeps. And he wanted more home ownership. He said if developers want federal funds to build units then they HAVE TO CHARGE AFFORDABLE RENTS FOR THE UNITS. Made sense to me. I told him it would be great if all of his department’s ideas, the city’s housing master plan, was made available to folks IN HARD COPY at neighborhood centers, the YMCA and YWCA, churches, barber shops, places where Worcester people could read it, digest it, discuss it. I said the city’s huge report, a tome or door stop if ever there was one, was hard to understand. Tim agreed, said there should be a way to get thus important information out into the community.

Then I said, I think if you want to make three decker home ownership a reality for more people, the city needs to set aside A HELL OF A LOT MORE MONEY FOR DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE, REHAB ASSISTANCE. I told him I was looking at three deckers in the inner city – all I could afford – and the buildings I saw were in horrible shape, often times vandalized. Cut up into teeny apts. Copper wire pulled out. Gutted bathrooms. How was a regular working person gonna fix those disasters? The city needs to put aside so much more money for rehab. Our great old buildings have been si abused.

I also told him all the city’s talk about homeownership for all seemed very pie in the sky. Very unrealistic. I told Tim at the last city economic development subcommittee meeting, the city sounded like President George W. Bush right before he created the housing bubble.

Tim listened to my concerns. Seemed to actually care about people making good housing decisions. He said some folks would be renters and that the city has to offer them good housing choices, too.

I believe Tim M. us a good person. He said he wasn’t anti CDC and I believed him. He is such a likeable person it was hard not to believe him, doubt his good intentions. The sun shone brightly on the folks at the WCG CDC celebration yesterday. It shone brightly on Tim Mcgourthy.

One InCity Times website reader on affordable housing …

The only way rental housing would ever be truly affordable …

By Christina P.

The only way rental housing would ever be truly affordable is if there were ZERO rent subsidies for ANYONE – including private landlords. Without tax subsidies, rent prices would depend entirely on SUPPLY AND DEMAND (the TRUE “free market”), and so would have to be brought back down to rates that the majority of WORKING RENTERS could afford SOLELY ON WORKMEN’S WAGES. Whenever landlords attempt to price gouge, middle income renters quickly become HOME BUYERS, and so those landlords are forced to live completely off of their lower wage earning tenants (or else their apartments are illegally overcrowded with college students or extended “migrant families”). Landlords who become millionaires via rent subsidies (aka societal parasites) are THE reason I was first attracted to becoming a Ron Paul Libertarian.

Christina P. is owner/Manager of WWB

Well, here it is … the 10% affordable housing cap

By Rosalie Tirella

With the CT school children massacre, ICT delivery, have just got a look at this coming Tuesday’s City Council meeting agenda.

Seems all our housing questions and issues will be discussed and decided then. The May Street debacle. The update on release of government funds for our CDCs. And finally, a vote will be taken …

on A CAPPING OF BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN OUR DOWNTOWN AREA.

At 10%. That is the cut off point for any new developments to be built.

Even the SUCCESSFUL Canal District housing complex, the one in the old Chevalier Furniture building has 20% affordable housing.

I was listening to an NPR show where the director of New York City’s Redevelopment Authority said the city of New York encourages developers to build 20% affordable housing units in new complexes, to make the city affordable for immigrants.

By enacting this urban version of snob zoning, we will be punishing CDCs, immigrant families, working families and young teachers, secretaries, etc.

Big mistake.

10% cap is not endorsed by the development officer for the greatest city in America. She understands what makes a city great.

Worcester just closes the doors.

Our CDCs do 20.

Downward mobility haunts US education (and more)

To add to my last posts. From the BBC. – R. T.:

3 December 2012 Last updated at 14:03 ET

Downward mobility haunts US education

By Sean Coughlan, BBC News education correspondent  

An integral part of the American Dream is under threat – as “downward mobility” seems to be threatening the education system in the United States.

The idea of going to college – and the expectation that the next generation will be better educated and more prosperous than its predecessor – has been hardwired into the ambitions of the middle classes in the United States.

But there are deep-seated worries about whether this upward mobility is going into reverse.

Andreas Schleicher, special adviser on education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says the US is now the only major economy in the world where the younger generation is not going to be better educated than the older.

“It’s something of great significance because much of today’s economic power of the United States rests on a very high degree of adult skills – and that is now at risk,” says Mr Schleicher.

“These skills are the engine of the US economy and the engine is stuttering,” says Mr Schleicher, one of the world’s most influential experts on international education comparisons.

Lack of opportunity

The annual OECD education statistics show that only about one in five young adults in the US reaches a higher level of education than their parents – among the lowest rates of upward mobility in the developed world.

Ohio steelworks A steelworker in Ohio in 1950 drives away his new Dodge, paid for with a $320 monthly wage. The steelworks have shut and the town is now in the “rust belt”

For a country whose self-image is based on optimism and opportunity, the US is now a country where someone with poorly-educated parents is less likely to reach university than in almost any other industrial country.

It’s the opposite of a Hollywood ending.

And about one in five young adults in the US are now defined in educational terms as “downwardly mobile” – such as children who have graduate parents but who don’t reach university level themselves. …

To read more, click on link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20154358

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From the New York Times. R. T.:

Hunger in Plain Sight

By MARK BITTMAN
Published: November 27, 2012

There are hungry people out there, actually; they’re just largely invisible to the rest of us, or they look so much like us that it’s hard to tell. The Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program, better known as SNAP and even better known as food stamps, currently has around 46 million participants, a record high. That’s one in eight Americans — 10 people in your subway car, one or two on every line at Walmart.

We wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but as it stands, the number should be higher[1]: many people are unaware that they’re eligible for SNAP, and thus the participation rate is probably around three-quarters of what it should be.

Food stamps allow you to shop more or less normally, but on an extremely tight budget, around $130 a month. It’s tough to feed a family on food stamps (and even tougher without them), and that’s where food banks – a network of nonprofit, nongovernment agencies, centrally located clearing houses for donated or purchased food that is sent to local affiliated agencies or “pantries” – come in. Food banks may cover an entire state or part of one: the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, for example, serves 53 counties and provides enough food to feed 48,000 square miles and feeds 90,000 people a week – in a state with fewer than four million people.

Like many other food banks, Oklahoma’s, says executive director Rodney Bivens, has made a commitment to serve every single person in need in its area; put that together with that state’s geography, and it might give you pause. Similarly, God’s Love We Deliver (not technically a food bank), which provides over a million cooked meals a year to sick people in the five boroughs and the Newark area, has seen its numbers nearly double in the last six years because, as Karen Pearl, the president and C.E.O. told me, “We are never going to have a waiting list and are never going to turn people away.”

And because poverty is growing.

Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs brought the poverty level down to 11 percent from 20 percent in less than 10 years. Ronald Reagan began the process of dismantling that minimal safety net, and as a result the current poverty level is close to 16 percent, and food stamps are not fully doing their job. “There was a time in this country,” says Maryland Food Bank president and C.E.O. Deborah Flateman, “when food stamps had practically eliminated hunger; then the big cuts happened, and we’ve been trying to recover ever since.” …

To read more, please click on link below: – R. T.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/art/1000511/28?sub=OneColumnist&col=63

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AND YET WE SPEND $$$$ ON WAR – $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. CLICK ON LINK BELOW: R.T.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raI25N-OoMQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Yesterday’s celebrations: Worcester’s CDCs shine at City Hall and Jimi would have turned 70

Well, our CDC’s shined last night at Worcester’s City Council meeting! Their representatives stood tall and told the city council – or anyone who doubts their great work:

 

Tour our units/buildings! Look at all the property taxes we pay to the city! In fact, we just paid $100,000 in fees. Best of all, our homes stay affordable for the next working family who wants to buy them (no building-flipping here, folks!). Neighborhoods stabilize – bloom.

Fantastic! Let’s all work together to make Worcester GREAT!

Another celebration – though it would be wonderful if he were still alive making music:

Jimi Hendrix’s 70th birthday: celebrate with this classic interview. Printed in The Guardian. (click on links below to hear/see J.H.) – R.Tirella

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE3FAY-NOiU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2bYJQFQMs8&feature=related

From The Guardian:

The guitarist and songwriter – born 27 November 1942 – found fame in the UK first. Here’s an interview from when he burst to the scene in the States, published in the Detroit Free Press on 28 August 1967 – courtesy of Rock’s Backpages, the world’s leading archive of vintage music journalism,

By Loraine Alterman

Guitar hero … Jimi Hendrix in 1967. The songwriter would have turned 70 today. Photograph: Herb Schmitz/Rex Features

No exaggeration: the Jimi Hendrix Experience is the most exciting act I have yet seen in pop music.

A small, musically hip group of kids turned out to see Jimi at the Fifth Dimension in Ann Arbor recently. Jimi, his bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell are creating a sensation in England and Europe – but the word hasn’t spread here yet.

On stage, Jimi, with hair a la Dylan, puts on a show with his brilliant guitar playing and electric stage presence. While performing, Jimi swings the guitar in back of him and plays it resting on his back. He also zings it with his teeth or falls to the floor to play it. Sometimes (but not at the Fifth Dimension), he burns it at the end of his set. In Ann Arbor, when his amplifier blew, he flung the amp to the floor at the end of his last set and jumped up and down on top of it.

Paradoxically, he never blows his cool. While he’s frantic, he’s casual. … .

To read more, click on the link below. R.T.: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/nov/27/jimi-hendrix-70th-birthday-interview

On being a Gateway City, The Worcester City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 27, and all-American mutts

By Rosalie Tirella

The Worcester City Council is meeting to discuss the housing study and the proposed affordable housing cap in the City of Worcester … and so much more. Let’s hope they get to the business at hand THIS meeting. Housing discussion should begin a bit after 7 p.m.  Click on link below for more information and to see the agenda. But before you get to the link …

Remember, we, Worcester!, along with cities like Springfield, Lowell and Lawrence are called Gateway Cities – not because we are slums, but because we are the Gateway to the American Dream!

This is something we should be proud of! Think Statue of Liberty. Think Irving Berlin and Frank Capra. Think New York City sky scraper-builders. Think Tin Pan Alley. Think Henry Roth and CALL IT SLEEP. Think the beginning of the American film studios. Think jazz. Think of everything new and cool. Think of all the Italian, Swedish, Polish, Eastern European and now Central/South American immigrants who come to our cities to our Gate Way cities to work in our factories/start small biz to begin new lives in America. And some of these workers will be … brilliant! They will, because they are in America, have the chance to self-actualize. One out of a million will be the next Billy Wilder. Or maybe his or her kid will be the next Louis Armstrong.

You cannot begin a new life in Nahant or Weston or Princeton! You come to places like Worcester to begin your American journey because you don’t speak English very well, you may not have a lot of money, you need the lower-skilled (and unfortunately lower paying) jobs to get started/gain a foothold, and the city’s support services, churches and NETWORK of friends/family from your homeleand make Gateway Cities little Statue of Liberties.

Worcester should not be ashamed of being a Gateway City! Immigrants are the life blood of America! My grandparents – and probably yours – are the people who made New York City, Boston, Worcester fantastic! They brought new spirit, new ideas, new muscle power, new brain power to the gateway Cities! They mixed and married other folks from other countries to create … truth be told, the American mutt.

Yup! I am one – most likely you are one, too. You are an American – the best! Let  me explain: If you want to strengthen something, I hate to use pooches as an example, but I will, you OUTBREED. You go outside – way outside the gene pool – to find the cutest, smartest, strongest, whatever you want in your pooch and mate the dogs. Down in Appalachia, where my dog Jett comes from, the people there want good hunting, squirrel hunting dogs. They don’t get into breeds like North Eastern folks because they know if you breed too much, you inbreed and you get problems like Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherds, nasal cancer in Nova Scotia Retrievers, etc. Nope the folks in Kentucky want good squireel hunting dogs. They call them Mountain Feists.

Jett is  half Mountain Feist.

But Mountain Feist is not a breed. It is any dog that is great at running, jumping, digging, displaying tenacity, high spirits – perfect for catching/treeing squirrels. So they get maybe a jack Russel type and mix it with another smallish feisty terrier mutt, maybe pointer too. There is no  paper work, no AKC recognition – just very healthy, great dogs. The other half of  Jett is Husky. Truth be told, he acts more Mountain Feist than Husky. He has a ton of energy, very healthy and wants to annihilate all squirrels. And his temperment is great.

The folks in Kentucky go outside the gene pool to create … mutts.

My dog is an all American mutt. So am I – and most likely you! We Americans get more mutty, mixed each decade – and this is great. At some point, America is gonna look like a very cool latte. And we will be brilliant!

So let’s not shut the door, Worcester. Let’s not cap affordable housing. Let’s not be un-American and close ourselves off to the new people and their new ideas, music, food, hair, color, faces, bodies, religions, etc.

I do  not care if they have no money. They have themselves – the best gift of all!

http://www.worcesterma.gov/agendas-minutes/city-council/current.htm

Worcester City Council agenda for Tuesday, Nov. 20

This august body meets tomorrow, Tuesday, November 20, at 7 p.m. The fate of Worcester’s affordable housing stock/policy will be discussed about 7 p.m.  Click on link below. – R. T.

http://www.worcesterma.gov/agendas-minutes/city-council/current.htm

The 10% affordable housing “cap” – a red herring

NOTE: We need to remember: the 10% figure re: the limit some folks are suggesting for Worcester’s affordable housing stock was NOT set by the state for cities like Worcester – or even towns in MA. The 10% is the quota the state established for affordable housing in all communities before it stepped in and overrode the town or city’s zoning laws. In other words, if a municipality wasn’t at 10%, then the state would allow affordable housing developers to circumvent the snob zoning laws in that city or suburbs to build their housing units. The state was/is telling these municipalities: IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS AMOUNT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING – 10% –  IN YOUR COMMUNITY, THEN YOUR ZONING RULES CAN BE CHANGED – a developer can come into your community and develop affordable housing on land/lots that are smaller than the tracts of land your local zoning laws permit.
 
That is where the 10% comes from. It was in no way a “goal” the state was asking cities like Boston, Worcester or Lowell to meet. Or any community, for that matter. – R.T. 

 

Increase affordable housing! Call in to the governor!

 

Increase Affordable Housing  

Call-in Day to the Governor  

Wednesday, December 14th

 

Too many people are struggling to afford the high cost of housing in Massachusetts.  Let’s work together to advocate for more affordable housing. 

On Wednesday, December 14th, the Building Blocks Coalition is asking that you take 1 minute and make an important phone call.  Please call Governor Patrick @ 1-617-725-4005, introduce yourself, and send a simple message:

 

“I am calling to ask the Governor to increase funding for affordable housing in the FY2013 budget. Working families, seniors, and persons with disabilities all need affordable housing to be healthy and productive, and for children to be able to learn.  Thank you for your support.”

   

About Building Blocks:

 

The Building Blocks Coalition is a group of Massachusetts organizations that work together to advocate for funding for affordable housing and homelessness prevention, including CHAPA, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Massachusetts NAHRO, Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants, Massachusetts Association for Community Action, Inc., Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance,  One Family, the Regional Housing Network of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Homes for Families, the Boston Center for Independent Living, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations and the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership.                 

 

Click HERE to learn more about Building Blocks FY2013 affordable housing and homelessness prevention priorities.   

 

Reposting:Report finds MA housing “affordability crisis”

Editor’s note: We are running this piece again, as I am sick of some of our local developers bashing our city’s Community Development Corporations – CDC’s – for the excellent work they do in Worcester’s most challenging neighborhoods. These developers gladly take section 8 rental vouchers – government money – for their middle of the road apartments. They bitch about the tenants, but they take the government Section 8 dough. They have a ton of money – and yet somehow they want more properties. Not so much to save a neighborhood, I think, but to make a buck.

So when a CDC comes along and gets federal funds to build green, top-of the line rental units (or condos or duplexes) and hires local, excellent contruction companies that pay their workers well, our local developers/whiners bitch. And when the CDCs rent to working class families, who build great lives for themselves in their new apartments/homes, these developers carp. Even though they want section 8 money and will accept a merry go round of troublesome section 8 just to get the $1,300 a month rent, etc. No stability.

And: these developers have no qualms when it comes to flipping their properties – to God knows who. CDC’s as nonprofits never do that. Their housing units must always remain affordable – and be kept up.

I just wish these whiners would quit making off that they were the saviors of our neighborhoods, when in fact, without a CDC like the Main South CDC, Main South would still be the ghetto it was in the 1970s. Steve Teasdale and his staff have worked miracles there. They have revitalized an entire neighborhood. The East Side CDC and Ron Charette in South Worcester and Steve Patton in Piedmont are also doing wonderful work. They deserve credit – and our thanks.

Not bashing by a bunch of jealous, greedy babies.

– Rosalie Tirella

Reposting:

By Rosalie Tirella

A great story in the Boston Globe today (or go to Boston.com) re: just what InCity Times pointed out last issue: We have a “housing affordability crisis” in Massachusetts (and Worcester).

Contrary to what the greedy, fat-head brigade says in town, Worcester DOES NOT NEED MORE MARKET-RATE HOUSING. Worcester, along with every other city in Massachusetts, needs more affordable housing. Housing for working people, middle-class people, people who have jobs – and are still seeing almost half of their income go to rent (it should be about a third). Like single working moms – moms like the woman interviewed in the Globe story, written by Globe staff reporter Megan Woolhouse. The single mom Woolhouse interviewed said she makes $14 an hour working at FedEx and gets child support – and still uses most of her money on housing and necessities. A quote from Woolhouse’s piece:

“Sandra Cassio, a single mother, said the rent on her $1,300-a-month Dorchester apartment consumes about half her monthly paycheck. The 29-year-old cares for her two children and a nephew, and works part time at FedEx for $14 an hour. She also receives child support.

“The Dorchester apartment is also $200 more expensive than her last rental in South Boston, which Cassio had to leave when the landlord decided to renovate. She lives frugally to make ends meet; many of her furnishings are secondhand, given to her by friends and family.

” ‘You don’t want to be spending money on things that are not necessities,’’ Cassio said. “There is no ‘I want this.’ There is only ‘I need this.’ ‘ ”

This happens all over Worcester – every day!

Back to the Globe piece. This from a housing expert: “Belsky said low-income renters were most likely to be burdened by high rents because of an acute shortage of affordable housing. Apartment construction in recent years has been geared toward the upper-end market.”

We all feel these startling stats. We feel them as we watch Worcester Public school students leave one public school to go to another as they leave one apartment in Worcester to live in another, the bill collectors on their tails. We see them in the instability in our neighborhoods because the families living in them are stressed to the max and are tired of moving, tired of being rootless. Domestic violence, violent crime – it all goes up.

More from the Globe story:

“The study, released yesterday, described an “affordability crisis’’ worsened by the recent recession, which eroded family incomes even as record foreclosures pushed more people into the rental market, driving up prices.

“As a result, 10.1 million US households, or one in four renters, spend more than half their earnings on rent and utilities. Another one in four households spends one-third to one-half of income on rent and utilities, according to the study.

“This squeeze, traditionally concentrated among lower-income families, is increasingly becoming a middle-class problem, according to the study. The percentage of middle-income families using 30 to 50 percent of their income for rent and utility payments more than doubled over the past decade, to 23 percent from 10 percent.”

Worcester does not need more $1,200 apartments – it needs more $650/$700 apartments. And if the Main South Community Development Corporation (CDC) and the other CDC’s in Worcester can build/rehab apartments, can do the job, along with big developers who get funds from the government if they build affordable housing, then I say BUILD ON! Build on CDCs and friends!!

We must not be bamboozled by a few fast talkers in town who wanna make a buck. When they build or rehab, they do not pay good wages to their carpenters or laborers. Construction workers at their jobs sites, do not get a salary to raise their families on – or pay their mortgages. The CDCs are the opposite. CDC’s use excellent building materials, excellent construction companies – who pay good wages – and they are – because they are nonprofit – forced to keep rents in their units affordable. And they don’t go into the business with the intent to “flip” their properties (to God knows who) to make a killing.

Let’s go Worcester CDC’s! Let’s build for Worcester!

Report finds MA housing “affordability crisis.” A great story in today’s Boston Globe

By Rosalie Tirella

A great story in the Boston Globe today (or go to Boston.com) re: just what InCity Times pointed out last issue: We have a “housing affordability crisis” in Massachusetts (and Worcester).

Contrary to what the greedy, fat-head brigade says in town, Worcester DOES NOT NEED MORE MARKET-RATE HOUSING. Worcester, along with every other city in Massachusetts, needs more affordable housing. Housing for working people, middle-class people, people who have jobs – and are still seeing almost half of their income go to rent (it should be about a third). Like single working moms – moms like the woman interviewed in the Glovbe story, written by Globe staff reporter Megan Woolhouse. The single mom Woolhouse interviewed said she makes $14 an hour working at FedEx and gets child support – and still uses most of her money on housing and necessities. A quote from Woolhouse’s piece:

“Sandra Cassio, a single mother, said the rent on her $1,300-a-month Dorchester apartment consumes about half her monthly paycheck. The 29-year-old cares for her two children and a nephew, and works part time at FedEx for $14 an hour. She also receives child support.

“The Dorchester apartment is also $200 more expensive than her last rental in South Boston, which Cassio had to leave when the landlord decided to renovate. She lives frugally to make ends meet; many of her furnishings are secondhand, given to her by friends and family.

” ‘You don’t want to be spending money on things that are not necessities,’’ Cassio said. “There is no ‘I want this.’ There is only ‘I need this.’ ‘ ”

This happens all over Worcester – every day!

Back to the Globe piece. This from a housing expert: “Belsky said low-income renters were most likely to be burdened by high rents because of an acute shortage of affordable housing. Apartment construction in recent years has been geared toward the upper-end market.”

These starting statistics, we all feel. We feel them as we watch Worcester Public school students leave one public school to go to another as they leave one apartment in Worcester to live in another, the bill collectors on their tails. We sem them in the instability in our neighborhoods because the families living in them are stressed to the max and are tired of moving, tired of being rootless. Domestic violence, violent crime – it all goes up.

More from the Globe story:

“The study, released yesterday, described an “affordability crisis’’ worsened by the recent recession, which eroded family incomes even as record foreclosures pushed more people into the rental market, driving up prices.

“As a result, 10.1 million US households, or one in four renters, spend more than half their earnings on rent and utilities. Another one in four households spends one-third to one-half of income on rent and utilities, according to the study.

“This squeeze, traditionally concentrated among lower-income families, is increasingly becoming a middle-class problem, according to the study. The percentage of middle-income families using 30 to 50 percent of their income for rent and utility payments more than doubled over the past decade, to 23 percent from 10 percent.”

Worcester does not need more $1,200 apartments – it needs more $650/$700 apartments. And if the Main South Community Development Corporation (CDC) and the other CDC’s in Worcester can build/rehab apartments, can do the job, along with big developers who get funds from the government if they build affordable housing, then I say BUILD ON! Build on CDCs and friends!!

We must not be bamboozled by a few fast talkers in town who wanna make a buck. When they build or rehab, they do not pay good wages to their carpenters or laborers. Construction workers at their jobs sites, do not get a salary to raise their families on – or pay their mortagages. The CDCs are the opposite. CDC’s use excellent building materials, excellent construction companies – who pay good wages – and they are – because they are nonprofit – forced to keep rents in their units affordable. And they don’t go into the business with the intent to “flip” their properties (to God knows who) to make a killing.

Let’s go Worcester CDC’s! Let’s build for Worcester!