As a former executive director of City Life/Vida Urbana and former board member of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, I am astonished by the recent events on the issue of the Blessed Sacrament Campus. I don’t understand JPNDC’s pursuit of market-rate housing in the Norbert building and the church, as adding these 55 luxury units will fuel gentrification, which has badly beaten up our community. Latinos and low-income residents just simply continue to be priced out of JP. Where is the JPNDC’s leadership on affordable housing and “community development” that we used to speak of so proudly in the past? As a longtime advocate for affordable housing and a community activist, I feel outraged by the ways in which the JPNDC has tried to deceive the community, since I have always supported their work in the past.
Jamaica Plain has a deep tradition in the fight for affordable housing. Where is everyone on this issue? It is time to speak up again on the issue of gentrification in Hyde/Jackson Square. We can’t keep silent.