Cambridge Citizens Coalition
Cambridge has plans to add nearly 30% more residential units; we have surpassed state mandated affordable housing goals. Yet among the possibilities explored in progressive cities or advocated by progressive politicians that Cambridge is not yet. doing to support equitable and sustainable housing are the following:
* Set up a Cambridge Housing Trust Fund (a non-profit). Get a group of property owners to commit to 3-4% of appreciation. Of their homes/property. Help set up a program so seniors can deed homes but continue to live in them; Ask the city to provide tax rebatements, housing subsidies for this
* Create a Sweat Equity Plan (a non-profit) to add additional units within current building shells or garages – ADUs; Get city and others to provide technical assistance for rehab and financial assistance to rehab.
* Introduce a Mutual Housing Association (a non-profit) to promote COOP housing (to allow groups of individuals to purchase properties so they can live together
*Start a program of Home Sharing (a non-profit): HUD has funded this (they could organize this AND vet applications; Habitat for Humanity also has done home sharing.
*Provide City financing to remodel properties to add low income accessory dwelling units and multi-family homes within current housing properties.
*Provide a path to home ownership for low and middle income tenants with city-funded down payments.
*Introduce tax credits for renters
*Create a housing investment at birth (baby bonds): By 18, low-income children would have nearly $50,000 to invest in a down-payment on a home.
*7% rent stabilization for tenants who meet income criteria in buildings owned by persons or entities who have more than 4 rental units.
*Require new property owners to notify the city of tenant names and contact information; Provide legal representation for people facing lease termination or eviction.
*House the city homeless and provide aid.
*Build new mixed low and middle income affordable housing on city property (parking lots, vacant areas, above libraries and municipal buildings.
*End restrictive zoning that precludes multiple family units (currently 7% of Cambridge housing.
*Allocate state funding bonuses for transportation and other funding for cities (like Cambridge) that have already met state affordable housing goals.
*Acquire shared interest affordable housing (for artists, teachers, social workers, others.
*Limit tax benefits to one home per family.
*Tax any vacancies in housing and commercial properties that exceed three months per year.
*Improve public transportation. Streets are clogged with traffic and little action is anticipated in the near future. Neither the city nor the state have added more public transportation. This much change.
*Curate commercial and residential areas in order to provide needed amenities for local residents - from grocery stores and laundry facilities to parks and health facilities.
*Modernize city infrastructure. With the city's recent large scale growth, the city infrastructure is under duress. The city needs to integrate neighborhood needs and concerns into growth plans.