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Putting the Affordable Housing Overlay District and Real Estate Transfer Tax Proposals in Context – April 18, 2019

Submitted by on April 17, 2019 – 5:43 pmNo Comment

Tonight’s regular Agassiz Neighborhood Council meeting has been canceled. Please join us for a joint meeting with Porter Square Neighbors Association (PSNA) and the Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods (ACN) on Thursday, April 18th from 7:00-9:00 PM. Details below.

Join Agassiz Neighborhood CouncilPorter Square Neighbors Association (PSNA), and the Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods (ACN) for a panel discussion lead by experts on the complexities of urban housing.
It has come to attention of the organizers that it might appear that this meeting is in full support of the Affordable Housing Overlay proposed by the City of Cambridge. However, following our established pattern of inviting open discourse and information exchange, we do not seek to forward one point of view over another. Additionally, none of the panelists have been involved in formulating the city’s proposal and they are not on the panel to promote it.

The intention of tomorrow’s panel is a.) to look more broadly at the many issues, structures, and policies that impact housing in a city like Cambridge, and b.) support meaningful and nuanced discussion via Q&A with leaders in the field. 

We hope that you’ll come and bring your questions. As we may not be able to respond to everyone at the meeting, we’ll also invite participants to write down questions and ideas for moving forward. The organizers will collect these at the end of the evening. 

Putting the Affordable Housing Overlay District and Real Estate Transfer Tax Proposals in Context

When: April 18, 7:00-9:00 PM
Where: Lesley University Hall, 1815 Mass. Ave., Auditorium 2nd Floor

With the proposed affordable housing overlay and a possible home rule petition for a real estate transfer fee for affordable housing getting so much attention, PSNA (in coordination with ANC and ACN has put together a program that will provide background on these issues (Q & A and discussion included!).

The purpose of this program is to provide information that members may find useful in reaching their own conclusions. Our panelists are not joining us to “present” the proposals; instead, they will try to put what exists now and is being proposed into a factual context.

James Stockard is an expert in affordable housing and community development, teaching at Harvard, MIT and Tufts, consulting with nonprofits and public agencies around the country, and co-authoring a book on affordable housing. Jim has served as a commissioner of the Cambridge Housing Authority for 30 years (including 6 terms as chair), and is a founding trustee of the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Jim can provide a deep dive on how affordable housing projects are funded and developed.

John Tittmann is partner at Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects in Boston, and past president/former board member of the Congress for New Urbanism/New England Chapter. “New Urbanism” focuses on human-scale design. John can explain how “form based” codes (part of the affordable housing overlay proposal) work and how they are different from conventional zoning.

Larry Field is Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance. The Alliance consists of nine policy organizations working to promote healthy and diverse communities, to protect critical environmental resources and to advocate for housing and transportation choices. Larry will moderate the program and update us on the various real estate transfer fee proposals being considered on Beacon Hill.

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