Waltham deserves housing that is both modern and affordable for its diverse community. A new Waltham will have housing that’s accessible for families as well as those with special needs, seniors and young professionals.
The current administration's housing plan is a “no housing plan.” It is no coincidence that rents and house prices are skyrocketing. For the past two decades, Waltham has done little to create affordable housing for families and other city residents.
Affordable housing is meant for teachers, firefighters and other residents. Many of the new rental units are luxury units that were built with special permits or under Chapter 40B. The overwhelming majority of these units are unaffordable by any serious definition of the word “affordable.”
City government has only created housing for seniors. There is a definite need, but even for this group, CPA funding was only used to develop 68 units currently being built at the site of the Leland Home. The city derailed a nonprofit’s conversion of the Armory into family housing.
It’s clear that the “no housing plan” has empowered outside developers to control our housing market. Lastly, it’s important to note the administration turns a blind eye to developers who use non-union labor.
It is time to take Waltham’s need for housing seriously. We need to create pathways to affordable homeownership. As mayor, I will create a Housing Production Plan (HPP) and work to meet the MBTA Communities Zoning requirements. Through a Housing Production Plan plan, we can defeat 40B developments which continue to bypass citizen input in their plans. I will explore opportunities to provide mixed-income housing that both prioritizes public health and transportation access.
It’s important to note that there will be substantial funding accessible at the state and federal level for housing projects in the near future. While the current administration works against nonprofit developers, I will work with them to bring affordable housing to Waltham. My hope is to have robust public-private partnerships that center housing around the people’s needs, not just those of outside developers, while using the best labor in town - unionized labor.
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