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I am writing in support of the Somerville Community Corporation/Cathartes proposal for redevelopment of 181 – 197 Washington Street. I recently moved to Somerville – on Rossmore Street, less than 200 feet from the site – and am attending graduate school at Tufts. I would love to stay here after I graduate in 2015, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford it, especially once the Green Line extension comes in, on what will probably be an entry level, non-profit income.
The SCC/Cathartes development would provide housing that would allow middle-income earners like teachers, construction workers, city workers, and nurses, families with young children, and students like myself to continue living in Somerville. It is important to note that 70% of the “workforce housing” units will be reserved for people already living in Somerville. The development will be truly diverse in terms of income, with affordable housing for low and moderate income folks as well as market rate units.
The location of the development is ideal for attracting the growing number of us who are drawn to urban living for the ability to walk, bike, or take public transit almost anywhere we want to go. Having seen the proposed designs in public meetings, I am excited for, right next door to me, what promises to be aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, and community-oriented development, with some much-needed green space. Perhaps I could even live there myself!
What I love about Union Square – and Somerville in general – is that “everyone” lives here: people who grew up here, young families with children, middle aged and elderly adults, recent immigrants from other countries, students, young working people. Let’s keep it that way. I urge all Somerville residents who are for an affordable Somerville to join SCC and show your support for 181-197 Washington Street at the planning board meeting Thursday the 20th.