Sunday, August 26, 2007

Where Is The Outrage????


MassHousing, a state agency created to help provide affordable housing, has violated its own guidelines by awarding more than $20 million in development loans to the Columbus Center project.
The purpose of the MassHousing loans is to encourage affordable RENTAL housing. Somehow, the funds (i.e., our taxpayer dollars) have been allocated to this project to subsidize multi-million dollar condominiums. That's alot of granite, maple and stainless steel!! Kudos to House Speaker Sal DiMasi for being the only one with the cojones to speak out against this travesty.
Its funny to see the other politicians try to make excuses for this outrageous scheme, such as Dianne Wilkerson's attempt to justify it with some explanation about how we all will benefit from the green parks that will result and the thousands of construction jobs. While those are certainly positive things, they still do not address the fact that loans from the state which were specifically designated for affordable rental housing, have somehow (payola maybe?) wound up being diverted to yuppie condo's.
As for the project itself, I have no problem with multimillion dollar condos. If some developer wants to add another several hundred units of blonde, bland, Burberried and boring yup's to the mix that is the South End/Back Bay, then so be it. The South End has already turned into a soul-less shadow of its formerly interesting self. Maybe we could get a few more overpriced Emperor's New Clothes-type restaurants for the expense account or Chestnut Hill set ("Health codes be damned - there's a line of Mercedes Sedans parked in front!!") -- see Boston Globe article, August 26, 2007, http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/08/26/high_end_fare_with_side_order_of_violations/
Of course, I wouldn't want to live in Bay Village during the construction of the project. Last I heard, 24-hour overnight construction was in the works - enjoy your sleeping now if you live in Bay Village - it might be your last chance. Stock up on rat killer, as well, as all that construction will only serve to stir up an already huge rat population.
My big, overall question is why no one, other than one Boston Globe writer, see http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/08/22/state_agency_ignores_own_guidelines_in_condo_loans/, and House Speaker DiMasi, has addressed this issue. Are the people of Boston too apathetic, stupid or drunk to care about such an issue? If this had happened in, say, New York, the Times would have been filled with letters to the editor, editorials, op-ed pieces, etc. calling for the resignation of the head of the state agency. But not here in transient Boston. Why care about this issue when after his next bonus, Biff and Jennifer will pack up Casey and Madison and move out to one of the "W" suburbs?...

9 Comments:

Blogger thesouthender said...

P.S. - The picture is a view of Columbus Avenue by Childe Hassam. Note the absence of granite, maple, stainless steel and heirloom tomato shoppes.

August 26, 2007 at 5:18:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the only people now welcome to the South End are those that can afford million-dollar condos. There was an article in the globe today about Upton Street residents fighting the Pine Street Inns attempt at opening support rental units on their street.

Here's a quote from the Globe Article:

"Knickle and another neighbor, Jerry Frank, both members of the Union Park Neighborhood Association, want to see those buildings turned into condos, filled with affluent folk who pay lots of taxes and are invested in the neighborhood."

and

" 'I just think there's enough money and influence here that it isn't going to happen very easily,' he says."

August 26, 2007 at 11:29:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article can be found here:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/08/26/whose_bad_behavior/

August 26, 2007 at 11:34:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The outrage has been there all along. Where have you been? Where have been for the last six or seven years while Casin has been perpetrating this fraud? Did you just find out about this?

Maybe you should get a little proactive instead of moaning about it once it's over.

August 26, 2007 at 1:33:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shirley Kressel wrote a a good, in-depth column in the South End News about how these monies are being spent (although I want even more information now...):

South End News, August 23, 2007

August 26, 2007 at 4:39:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to find words that describe Knickle and Franks-classist, NIMBY's, ignorant. I almost feel sad for them. I really hope the do not have children.

The good news is that there views are the extreme side of the issue. There are some very decent people on Upton and members of Union Park who supprt Pine Streets' attempt to purchase the buildings.

August 26, 2007 at 6:03:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this money to give people a hand up not a hand out is terrably miss-spent. No one has mentioned the Mayor. What little I see of this makes me think he would be more VOCAL on this topic?

I'm sorry I won't miss some of Hope House, the actions of some of their Homo-phobic men and their loitering and smoking got on my nerves 13 years and counting.
Given the number of people they help, stepping over bored guys on my front steps smoking was an OK trade off.

Pine Street has been a good neighbor to the south end, I know the new gentry of Upton look forward to sanatizing their street.
They could do with a second look for people in need instead of people in greed.

Thanks for the many links, looking forward to reading!

Nice to see you back writting more often too.

August 27, 2007 at 1:16:00 AM PDT  
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