(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)
I think it is vitally important to keep people who were born and raised in Somerville as members of this community. Somerville has become a very desirable place to live and will become more so with the addition of the Green Line and the new housing and waterfront park at Assembly Row. As our wonderful community attracts new residents, property values and rents are increasing. And this is making it harder for native Somervillians to continue to live in the city. The number of students in Somerville schools is decreasing in spite of the fact that the quality of the schools has improved. This is a direct result of residents moving further and further away to afford a place to live.
I think it is important to keep families here who have lived here for generations. They know the history of the city and can make important contributions to its civic life based on their knowledge of the past. I welcome newcomers; I am one myself. But I hate to see natives driven out by the high cost of housing. Seventy percent of the units at the 181/187 Washington St. development are set aside for Somerville residents.
We need the housing that encompasses the former Boys and Girls Club and the Cota Funeral Home. This development is targeted toward working people with family incomes substantially above the poverty line. It is not targeted to very low-income people. Those who work for the city: in the school system, public works department and the library have incomes that make them eligible for these units. People who work for non-profits and in the service industry may also be eligible. Please help keep our residents in the city and support the 181/197 Washington St. development. Our children and our neighbor’s children will thank you for it.