Jackson Sq. residents surveyed about quality of life

JACKSON SQ.—Urban Edge, a nonprofit community development corporation, is undertaking a detailed survey of Jackson Square’s property and residents.

Required by NeighborWorks America, an affordable housing coalition that is a major Urban Edge donor, the survey will result in a report on area quality of life and resident needs that will be available to the public.

The survey includes the physical condition of properties, and asks residents about such issues as safety, political involvement and resources they use or want.

Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, who chairs the legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health, is piggybacking on the survey to add more questions about health needs. He told the Gazette that will help inform his policy-making and that it is partly in response to Boston Children’s Hospital dropping its 5,000 adult patients at Jackson Square’s Martha Eliot Health Center.

“We don’t know what’s going on with those folks,” Sánchez said of residents in the area’s Bromley-Heath housing development. He noted that many residents are working poor and that there is a lack of data to drive decision-making there now. He added that he hopes to draw major health institutions to study and serve the area as well.

The survey is intended to show off the impact Urban Edge has in the area, but it is broad and will surely highlight unexpected needs and situations. Urban Edge is based on Columbus Avenue in Jackson Square, and is a partner in the massive redevelopment of 11 acres of land underway in the area.

The survey covers both the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury sides of Jackson Square. It includes a description of every single block and specific information about the condition of at least 100 properties. Those physical studies were conducted in April, according to Katie Provencher, Urban Edge’s director of community engagement.

Now underway is the resident survey. NeighborWorks requires at least 200 households be surveyed, but Urban Edge is aiming for 270, Provencher said. It will be conducted by door-to-door visits by teams of volunteers, who will have Urban Edge ID. The surveying should be finished by early July, she said.

Urban Edge still needs volunteers to conduct the survey. Anyone interested can contact Provencher at 617-293-6572.

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