Friends and Neighbors,
While many people are getting left behind in a jobless "recovery" and the middle class in America is under attack, Jamaica Plain has been active for decades in creating affordable housing that is vital for stable families and strong communities.
Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., please come out for: Faces and Places of Affordable Housing, 1st Church UU, 6 Eliot St.
Everyone sees and experiences affordable housing through a different lens. This forum will discuss ways in which the JP community can better understand the who and what of affordable housing — its faces and places. It is meant for residents who want to learn more about who lives in affordable housing, what it looks like, and the community process involved to build it in our neighborhoods.
Panelists will offer their own personal experiences and insights into affordable housing and there will be plenty of time for a community dialogue. Please visit www.yestoaffordablehomes.org for more information on the Faces & Places of Affordable Housing campaign.
Some of the facts on that website may surprise. For example, numerous studies show that affordable housing does not bring down property values, and can actually increase surrounding property values. And, while the minimum wage is $8.00/hr, and the estimated Living Wage in Boston for one adult is $12.17, "the average worker needs to earn $22.23 per hour to afford a 1 bedroom apartment in Boston or $26.10 per hour to afford a 2 bedroom apartment based on the fair market rent in 2009 (http://www.yestoaffordablehomes.org/faces.html)."
In practice this makes it hard for many hard working friends, neighbors and colleagues to stay in a beautiful and friendly neighborhood like Jamaica Plain. Over the years, of necessity, families have left JP for exurbs like Brockton, Lawrence and other places with a low tax base and therefore poor school systems and few public services. For most people who don't live in Brockton, there is little reason to travel there, we drive around it on the highway and hear little about it in the news.
What can be done about this trend? One answer is to support affordable housing in JP, learn more about it, and help dispel the myths that surround it.
Hope to see you there and help spread the word!