Neighbors in Support of Affordable Housing at 2072 Massachusetts Avenue
Dear Board of Zoning Appeals and Cambridge City Officials,
as neighbors of the proposed affordable housing apartment building at 2072 Massachusetts Avenue, we write in strong support of this project, which we believe will enhance our neighborhood and our city.
There is an extreme shortage of affordable housing both in Cambridge and in our neighborhood. A nearby affordable housing development, the Finch, recently received more than 2,200 applicants for 98 apartments, and the Cambridge Housing Authority currently has more than 20,000 applicants for housing on its waitlist. This new development would give 48 families who might otherwise be forced out of Cambridge a chance to live at a convenient location in first-rate apartments.
The apartment complex would be a huge improvement over the current building at that site, a fast-food restaurant on a tar parking lot. Massachusetts Avenue, a busy thoroughfare lined by many large commercial buildings, is an appropriate place for this development, and the design is properly scaled for the neighborhood. We oppose efforts to reduce the building size and so lock out more families from living there.
The developers, Capstone, have an excellent track record, and have been responsive to neighborhood concerns. They have included in their design thoughtful touches such as a green roof, solar panels, and extensive bike parking. Cambridge has reached a point where adding more parking spots--and more cars--is counterproductive. This project is designed in with the future of transportation in Cambridge in mind rather than its past.
We love our neighborhood and understand why our fellow neighbors may be fearful about any change they imagine might reduce its beauty, convenience and friendliness. We believe, however, that their fears are exaggerated, and that the changes this project creates will on balance improve our neighborhood, most of all because it will bring to us new neighbors. The cost of living in Cambridge has escalated to a point where many are locked out, threatening the vibrancy of our city. This development represents an attempt to preserve one of Cambridge's greatest strengths, the diversity of its residents. We urge you to move this project forward.
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