LINK IT OVER

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

WBUR: Mayor Walsh Touts Success Developing Affordable Housing Units
The city of Boston says it's succeeding in its goal to build more housing as the city grows and people become priced out.

Next City: 6 Ways Affordable Housing Developers Are Fighting NIMBYism
NIMBYism, it seems, never goes out of style. Despite an acute affordable housing crisis in many U.S. cities, getting new homes built for low-income people remains a giant challenge.

Governing: How a Cashless Society Would Harm the Poor
Businesses and governments are going cashless. Anti-poverty advocates say the change is problematic for low-income people, but they disagree on how to solve it.

Everett Independent: Zoning Board Not Buying the ‘No Car’ Concept on Ferry Street
The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) remained rather skeptical of a proposal by Andrew Philbin to convert a 20-room lodging house into a brand new apartment building with 20 micro units, but only two parking spots – something that is becoming more and more common as developers lean on the trend of the car-less household.

City Lab: How Cities Are Making the Global Housing Crisis Worse
Nearly 900 million people around the world live in slums, lacking access to adequate water and sanitation or adequate housing.

New York Times: The Cost of a Hot Economy in California: A Severe Housing Crisis
A full-fledged housing crisis has gripped California, marked by a severe lack of affordable homes and apartments for middle-class families.

Streets Blog: Study After Study Finds Latinos Have a Strong Affinity for Social Biking
Most people find it pleasant to bike with people they know. But there’s growing evidence that Latino Americans are particularly interested in social biking.

NPR: Tech Workers Brace For Seattle's Plan to 'Tax The Rich'
Kate and John Walter see themselves as victims of a housing crisis spawned by Seattle's technology boom — but they disagree whether high tech workers like them also should be the solution.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CityLab: Minimum Wage Movement, Meet the Healthcare Debate
With the GOP’s massive restructuring to Medicaid awaiting a vote, low-wage workers need special attention.

Revere Journal: Revere Residents Respond with Outpouring of Help for Fire Victims
McKenna gave thanks to numerous individuals and organizations including the firefighters, the Firefighter Wives group, public works and police department. She noted the assistance from The Neighborhood Developers…

FastCompany: This Is The State Of Small Business Failure In the U.S.
The reasons that companies fail are as varied as the startups themselves, but this analysis of public records and trends reveals several factors.

Everett Independent: Council Declines to Act in Tenant- Landlord Dispute
A tenant and landlord dispute between a property owner on Mystic Street and the business operating at that location, which has ended up in court, nearly spilled over into the City Council Monday night after Councilor John Hanlon asked his colleagues to revoke the business license on a technicality.

Chelsea Record: Time to Stop Playing Nice with MassPort, FAA, Residents Say
As around 40 residents assembled at the Williams School Monday night on a beautiful summer evening, their greetings to one another and their conversations had to be

CityLab: Why Is the Alt-Right So Angry About Architecture?
Conservatives have long opposed Modernism, but in the video age, avant-garde buildings can become potent symbols in the hands of groups like Infowars and the NRA.

New York Times: Program to Spur Low-Income Housing Is Keeping Cities Segregated
A mural on the wall of an elementary school here proclaimed, “All the world is all of us,” but the hundreds of people packing the auditorium one night were determined to stop a low-income housing project from coming to their upscale neighborhood.

CO.Design: This AI Can Predict How Rich Your Neighborhood Is From Space
The patterns we use to organize ourselves in cities are visible to machines–and in a way that can predict the quality of our lives.

Washington Post: Wealthy D.C. residents blame wealthy D.C. residents for city’s spiking housing costs, poll finds
A surprising constituency agrees with critics of Washington’s gentrification that wealthy newcomers are driving housing prices through the roof: wealthy newcomers.

Citizens Bank Invests in Financial Opportunities

At an April statehouse event, TND received a $30,000 donation from Citizens Bank. A frequent TND partner, Citizens Bank has provided invaluable support for financial education classes delivered at CONNECT. The goals of the classes are to help 150 people annually to improve credit, decrease debt, and provide access to banking services. Citizens Bank employees are frequently seen at TND’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program - providing free tax preparation and information on how to maximize the value of a tax refund. Last week’s donation will bolster those programs and amplify results like these:

 

Achievement Highlights

  • 94.2% of surveyed CONNECT clients said they were more confident that they can reach their financial goals, and 73.2% of respondents reported that they are better able to meet their living expenses than they were 18 months before.

  • Compared with status at intake, 35.8% of clients increased the time their household could meet their living expenses, 42.4% of clients stayed the same, and 21.7% reported a shorter timeframe.

  • Between 2008 and 2016, TND’s VITA program has brought $11.8 million back into the community, with $2.8 million of that in EITC tax credits.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

Chelsea Record: Cortell,Avellaneda ask for Airplane Noise Study
There have been fewer frustrating situations lately than the increase in the number, proximity and volume of airplanes coming and going from Logan Airport during the past few months as a project to…

Co.Design: Designing For Social Justice: 4 Lessons From Chicago Architects
Timothy Swanson, leader of CannonDesign’s Chicago practice, thinks architecture can help inequality in the city–but only if it’s part of a broader strategy.

Revere Journal: Councillors Looking to Solve Trash Issues
Motions by Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe about Harry Della Russo stadium got some interest. Keefe put in two motions to bolster patrols for the stadium in the summer time and combat trash.

Everett Independent: Greenway: Envisioning the Malden River of the Future
Once an industrial district, recent local leadership and Brownfield redevelopments are creating momentum to transform the river completely.

JCHS: Our Disappearing Supply of Low-Cost Rental Housing
It’s not an illusion: low-cost rental housing in the US is disappearing. And our 2017 State of the Nation’s Housing report has the numbers to prove it.

Chelsea Record: Council Approves Taking of former Salvation Army Store
The Chelsea City Council logged two votes to authorize taking and the payment for an eminent domain action on the former Salvation Army Store on Broadway – an aggressive move that City Manager Tom Ambrosino has touted for several months.

City Lab: Immigrants Boost Wages for Everyone
Contrary to the popular narrative, cities and workplaces with a diverse group of immigrants see higher wages—even for native-born Americans across income levels.

The Hill: Justice Department developing strategies to shut down ‘sanctuary cities’: report
President Trump’s Justice Department is exploring new ways to take down so-called “sanctuary cities” via legal methods, according to a new report.

Chelsea Record: Council Votes to Approve Acquisition of Spencer Triangle
The City Council approved a $90,000 expenditure to buy the triangle piece of land on the Spencer Avenue Extension that has served for parking over the years, but actually was never owned by the City.

Forbes: New Report Marks The Beginning Of The End For 'Fight For $15'
Today, the reason for the Mayor's actions is clearer: A devastating new entry in the University of Washington inquiry details the harm that Seattle's higher minimum wage has caused to the employees it's meant to help.

New York Times: Bloomberg’s Next Anti-Washington Move: $200 Million Program for Mayors
Michael R. Bloomberg will throw his financial might into helping beleaguered American mayors, creating a $200 million philanthropic program aimed at backing inventive policies at the city level and giving mayors a stronger hand in national politics.

 

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CityLab: For Renters, the Housing Crisis Never Ended
Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing report reveals exactly where, and why, the rent is too damn high.
- JCHS of Harvard: THE STATE OF THE NATION’S HOUSING 2017

DorchesterReporter: Neighborhood Homes Initiative settling in
Moving into the grey and white house marked a new stage in the life of 24-year-old Renee Omolade. She had closed on the home on April 24, four days before her son was born, and a month later she stood on the porch in the bright sunshine holding him as city leaders and media milled around outside.

Boston Globe: In Everett an immigrant with plans to shake up city politics
Politics in Everett have long been the domain of white men, even as the demographics of the city have changed dramatically.

Washington Post: Poverty really is the result of a state of mind — among rich people
Recently, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that poverty is a state of mind, and having the right mind-set will let people escape poverty. He was both right and wrong. There is a poverty mind-set we should discuss, but it’s not the one Carson lamented.

ChelseaRecord: ZBA Approves Winnisimmet Lounge by Ciao
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a special permit and variances that pave the way for the newest culinary advancement in the City – with the owners of Ciao Pizza and Pastas moving forward to open a small plate lounge that will serve alcohol and gourmet foods.

RevereJournal: Taft Street Fire Leaves 18 Homeless:Early Morning Fire Destroys Two Homes; Neighboring Structures Sustain Damage
A four-alarm fire broke out on Taft Street Tuesday morning around 4:15 a.m. in the same neighborhood hit by a tornado in 2014 leaving 18 people homeless.

RevereJournal: Fall Election Looks to be More Active than in Previous Years
So far it looks like election races are heating up for councillors in Revere and for the School Committee as well.

 

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

Boston Globe: Questions arise about campaign for $1b Union Square overhaul
Dianne Doherty Sullivan doesn’t give out her e-mail address. Ever. And she doesn’t really follow housing and zoning issues in Somerville, where she has lived all her life.

CityLab: Creating a Better Community Through Text Messages
As cities make their data more transparent and accountable, this project in New York found one way to use technology to engage the residents in the planning process—by prompting locals to text in ideas.

NYTimes: When Opioid Addicts Find an Ally in Blue
In this college town on the banks of Lake Champlain, Chief Brandon del Pozo has hired a plain-spoken social worker to oversee opioids policy and has begun mapping heroin deaths the way his former commanders in the New York Police Department track crime.

Detroit Free Press: HUD Secretary Ben Carson defends eliminating community block grants
In an AP exclusive interview, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says he expects to release an agenda within the next few months that delivers "bang for the buck," partly by encouraging more private-sector collaboration.

The Washington Post: Here’s how much you would need to afford rent in your state
There is nowhere in this country where someone working a full-time minimum wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Thursday documenting the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing.

AZ Central: Phoenix is the nation's 5th largest — but is it a 'real' city?
Phoenix is now the fifth-largest by population. Its land area exceeds New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The number of people who live here lags those cities, and Houston, but surpasses all others.

National Review: How to Think about Low-Income Housing
Well, raise my rent! Here’s a great big Muppet News Flash from the Washington Post: Average-priced goods are relatively expensive for low-wage consumers.

HousingWire: Affordable housing advocates plan day of action
Affordable housing advocates across the U.S. are coming together to advocate for greater investment in affordable homes and community development.

Chelsea Record: Council Plans Hearing on Broadway Store
In an effort to ramp up the downtown overhaul, City Manager Tom Ambrosino submitted a request to the City Council to hold a hearing and move forward with an eminent domain taking of the Salvation Army Store at 440 Broadway.

 

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

City Lab: The Dramatic Health Disparities Between Rich and Poor Americans
When it comes to unequal health outcomes, the U.S. is outranked only by Portugal and Chile, a new study finds.

Chelsea Record: City May Try to Take Salvation Army Store by Eminent Domain
The Salvation Army Store on Broadway closed earlier this month, and the City said this week that it is seriously considering taking the property by eminent domain due to it being a blight on the city and for public policy purposes.

Chelsea Record: Chelsea Public Library Wins NASA@ My Library Grant
The Chelsea Public Library announced Tuesday that it has been awarded a grant from NASA and the American Library Association called NASA@ My Library.

Revere Journal: One Beach to Receive LEED Certification
The Neighborhood Developers announces that it expects to receive LEED certification for its housing development One Beach, located in downtown Revere. LEED is a nationally recognized standard for sustainable development, created by the U.S. Green Building Council, to honor buildings of different types and uses that are designed to meet criteria for sustainable design.

Revere Journal: Suffolk Downs New Owner Lays Out Development Plan
Former Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Director Thomas O’Brien’s development firm HYM announced it has closed on its purchase of Suffolk Downs last Friday.

Landor: Branding for buildings: Name your building before the public does
Traditionally, Londoners have had a rocky relationship with the city’s skyscrapers and tall buildings; with nicknames like the Cheesegrater, Walkie Talkie, and Trellis, it’s little wonder why.

Curbed: America’s declining mobility has millennials feeling stuck
Why Americans are moving less, and why that’s a big deal for housing and economic opportunity

 

 

CONNECT Intake & Public Benefits Internship

The Neighborhood Developers, Inc. (TND) creates vibrant neighborhoods where people from all walks of life can thrive. Focused in Chelsea and Revere, TND has crafted a remarkable track record of success through investments that are conceived, designed, and fostered by neighborhood residents, municipal partners, and many stakeholders. TND brings its core strengths -- building homes, engaging neighbors, and fostering economic mobility -- to community partnerships that create thriving families and strong neighborhoods. TND created and supports the CONNECT Financial Opportunity Center that co-locates and integrates the services of five agencies working together to improve the financial mobility of 4,000 clients annually.

Based at the CONNECT office in Chelsea, the Intake & Public Benefits intern will work one-on-one to help families apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps), MassHealth, and WIC benefits. These public benefits have proven antipoverty impacts for low income families and provide an important safety net. Each of these public benefits provides clients with a significant increase to their monthly income, but many of CONNECT’s clients are missing out on accessing these benefits due to systemic barriers in the application process, stigma associated with participation in government programs, or lack of awareness of eligibility. The Public Benefits intern will help eliminate barriers to financial stability among CONNECT’s low-income constituency through providing application assistance and case management support throughout the entire application process.  The intern will help families to submit applications for benefits, collect required documentation, and navigate the complicated application process. Additional responsibilities include participating in bi-weekly core services staff meetings, providing an orientation of other services to clients, completing intake forms, calling the DTA and MassHealth customer assistance lines to help resolve client cases, and creating referrals to other services. Other tasks and activities may be added, based on the intern’s interests and organizational need.

This position is a good match for you if you like working directly with families, are bilingual (English and Spanish), have a high attention to detail, and can advocate for others. You’ll find that no two cases are the same, so this position requires creativity and flexibility in figuring out how to best help each client. The position also requires a high level of responsibility and ability to work independently.

We are looking to fill multiple intern positions and will fill the positions on a rolling basis. The ideal candidate can commit to a minimum of 10 hours a week. The schedule is flexible, and will be determined based on your availability and program need.

For more information, please contact Blake Roberts Crall, Program Director:
broberts@tndinc.org    617-889-1375 x128

Celebrating 10 Years of VITA

Revere and Chelsea, MA -- In the world of upside-down tax programs, for every dollar of homeownership tax benefits a low-income family gets, a multi-millionaire will get $15,450 (The Topic Policy Center). But there is one tax program that actually has a positive impact on the working families that need the assistance: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

And The Neighborhood Developers (TND) is having its 10th anniversary of providing VITA services to Chelsea and Revere.  On average, the tax-credit refund amount for TND's VITA clients is 9% of their annual income. So coming to TND for just one service gets them almost a 10th of their income for the whole year. This means they really rely on this service being available to them.

Across the nation, each year VITA volunteers prepare millions of tax returns at thousands of tax sites nationwide. “In 2014, the EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit] lifted 6.7 million people out of poverty. The same year, the Child Tax Credit protected approximately 3.1 million people from poverty, including about 1.6 million children.” (Results.org) Here is a moment to multiply 6.7 million and 3.1 million by 10 years.

Organizations like The Neighborhood Developers open their doors to residents and guide them through the tax system to life-changing tax credits, including: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); Child Tax Credit (CTC); and The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).

The late Senator Edward Kennedy said, “If you work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, in the richest nation in the world, you should not have to live in poverty.” For millions of families, VITA made that a reality.

The Neighborhood Developers and the other VITA organizations around the country provide this service with the help of volunteers. Volunteers are the core of VITA. Many come with no experience working with taxes, and they are trained by organizations like The Neighborhood Developers on how to provide this direct service, to participate in the national movement that collectively pulls millions of people out of poverty.