Tenant, homeless and community groups, including JP-based City Life/Vida Urbana and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), delivered a petition with 900 signatures to Mayor Martin Walsh to increase affordable housing resources and earmark more funds to keep working-class and lower income residents in their homes and in the City.
According to organizer Kathy Brown, from the Boston Tenant Coalition (BTC), at least 200 of the 900 signatures were from JP residents. Brown is a JP resident herself.
Sheila Dillon, the City’s chief of housing and director of the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND); chief of Economic Development John Barros; chief of Health and Human Services Felix Arroyo; and Walsh’s chief of policy Joyce Linehan all came down to accept petitions on behalf of the mayor, Brown told the Gazette.
“Sheila [Dillon] pledged to work with us,” Brown said.
Organizers cited a recent study that named Boston the most rapidly gentrifying city in the country. They also said 35,000 households are paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent, placing thousands of Bostonians at risk of homelessness.
“If we want to keep Boston as a vibrant, world-class city, we ought to help keep existing working families and individuals on low or fixed incomes in their communities and homes,” Darnell Johnson, of Right to City Boston, said in a press release.
The JP-based Mass Alliance of HUD tenants was also in attendance.