Mayoral forum focused on affordable housing

Affordable housing was a prominent issue discussed during an Aug. 6 mayoral forum on housing, according to Boston Tenant Coalition (BTC) coordinator Kathy Brown.

BTC co-sponsored the event at the Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown with several other organizations, including Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants and City Life/Vida Urbana, both of which are based in Jamaica Plain.

Mayoral candidates Felix Arroyo, John Barros, Charlotte Golar Richie, Mike Ross, Bill Walczak, Marty Walsh and Charles Yancey participated in the forum, while John Connolly stopped by, but did not remain.

Brown, a JP resident, said BTC co-sponsored the event “because we wanted to hear about the housing issue” and that is has not been given coverage during the mayoral campaign. She said that affordable housing is a critical issue facing the city and the future mayor.

“It was an opportunity for the candidates to hear from people who experience the problems first-hand,” said Brown, listing such problems as tenants rights and foreclosures.

She said that all the candidates saw housing as a issue that deserves attention and expressed a willingness to work with organizations on that front. Brown said that they offered a variety of plans, including more resources in the budget and tenant protection.

Brown said that about 250 people attended the forum. She said the audience had “a lot of energy, a lot of participation” and that the candidates all received applause and no one was booed.

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