Middle class housing
This past weekend I read a commentary on page one of South Boston Today entitled “Where Will The Middle Class Live?” As I started reading it, the words fell right off the page at me, “At the rate of luxury condo, multi-unit and high end townhouse development in South Boston, the opportunity for middle and working class families to live in the community that there forebears fought so hard to preserve has dwindled dramatically.” Over in Southie, irate community folks are opposed to turning over the shuttered Gate of Heaven school building to yet another developer looking to build more condos on it. As if Southie wasn’t already saturated by gentrification which has been ongoing for a while now.
A recent Zoning Board of Appeals meeting in Southie had to be postponed due to the public uproar with this project. There is now talk of e3xpanding South Bay Shopping Mall by adding 500 apartments, a cinema, shops and restaurants plus a hotel. One supporter of this project has been quoted in the media saying, “Dorchester should have been hot a long time ago – people are finally catching up.”
What I read in the South Boston Today newspaper can easily happen to East Boston tomorrow as developers look a East Boston too with its beautiful waterfront view from across the harbor. Many in East Boston are getting concerned that the past is prologue. What happened in South Boston can easily cross over the harbor to Eastie and Charlestown too. If making East Boston hot means pushing the middle and working classes out of our urban neighborhoods, I want no part of it. I am not anti-development but bit can’t all be about dollar signs. Our neighborhood’s stability in Eastie and Southie, etc means standing up and speaking out. If we don’t protect our neighborhoods, then who will? As that old saying goes, it ain’t over until its over. If we stand down, we lose our communities and that would be a great shame. Stand up and speak out. Don’t take No for an answer. Doing nothing is unacceptable.