What’s your relationship to Allston-Brighton?
Many years ago (in the 90’s), while attending college at BU, I lived for several years in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood. After graduating I moved to Cambridge and Winthrop with my partner. For the past 15years, I have lived continuously in the Allston-Brighton area. Since moving to Boston from Puerto Rico, I have lived mostly in Allston-Brighton.
How has Allston-Brighton changed over the years?
The changes in the neighborhood are very apparent. The neighborhood is becoming even more diverse, not only in in terms of ethnicities, but also diversity in terms of people’s backgrounds and interests. A change that are happening in not positive way is the increase of rental costs.
What is Allston-Brighton’s biggest challenge with affordable housing?
In my opinion there is a lack of housing available at affordable prices. One of the categories that I feel is often overlooked is the ‘workforce’ individuals who are earning a salary and still find it difficult to afford paying rent in Allston-Brighton.
What would/does an affordable home mean for you?
An affordable home to me means that I can meet my responsibility to pay rent and not feel that the amount I am paying for rent is outrageous, and that that amount is more that half my monthly paycheck. An affordable home to me means the opportunity to be able to afford to buy a home in this neighborhood and not feeling that I am being priced out even though I have a relatively decent salary.
How would your opportunities/quality of life change if you didn’t have to worry about rent going up?
I currently live in a market rent apartment in a building with expiring affordability. There is a lot of uncertainty amongst myself and many of my neighbors in the building in regards to the prospect of rents going up astronomically. In addition, there is also uncertainty in regards to what the owner is planning to do with the building; we are not sure if the plan is to sell it. All of this causes a lot of worrying and anxiety which definitely has an impact in my daily life.
Knowing that one lives in a place with a fair and just rent cost allows for a better enjoyment and quality of life.