What does affordable housing mean to you/why is having more homes we can afford important to you?
Affordable housing means that a young couple can start a family in our town without fear that they will not be able to keep up with mortgage payments. Sounds simple? And yet it was this simple 25 years ago, when my husband and I bought our home in Brighton. He had the down payment, having acquired some equity in a condo he previously owned and sold to buy our house. That helped a lot, of course. But I was a recent graduate and still without a job, so we were dependent on a single income. And yet we could do it! The house was in very poor shape and we put a lot of our own sweat and tears on renovating it bit by bit, but within a couple of years it was in a fit state to receive our first child. Having more homes that young families can afford is important for me because our neighborhood is a wonderful place to raise a child. In our case, to raise four children, who loved and fought for our local library, rallied and advocated for the creation of a community center, cleaned local parks, and marched in the annual parade. Isn’t this precisely what we expect from our citizens, upon whose shoulders our democracy rests?
Are you currently impacted by rising rents/are you at risk of displacement from Allston Brighton? Why are you fighting for more affordability in Allston Brighton?
While I am not at risk of displacement from Allston Brighton I am deeply impacted by the decreasing numbers of families and children in the area. As I age, how much longer will I continue to clean our parks, rally to defend our community assets, or volunteer to deliver meals to senior citizens? To whom will I pass on the civic stewardship that I learned from — and with — my Allston/Brighton neighbors? Where are all the children? I fight for more affordability in Allston/Brighton so that the children and their young parents return. So that they feel they have a chance at enjoying what my family enjoyed. So that they have the opportunity to nurture their civic engagement through the opportunities this neighborhood provides. The health of our democracy depends on it.