What’s your relationship to Allston-Brighton?
My name is Oscar Lopez and I am a lifelong resident/ renter of Allston-Brighton and a first-generation Guatemalan American. I am one of 6 and my parents who work blue-collar jobs (Truck Driver & Janitor) were able to put us through Boston Public Schools and university. Through ABCDC housing my family was able to stay in Allston-Brighton for the past 30 plus years.
How has Allston-Brighton changed over the years?
I think no matter where you live change within a community is inevitable. Allston-Brighton I feel has seen significant change with the amount of development introduce within the last 5 years. At the end of the day, people are not able to stay long-term in the neighborhood. The cost of living has only grown and shows no sign of slowing down. So a lot of the neighborhood character is losing a lot of luster, because the people who made it so great are being forced to move.
What is Allston-Brighton’s biggest challenge with affordable housing?
It’s hard to pinpoint one specific challenge when talking about affordable housing in Allston-Brighton; What is deemed affordable is part of the problem, 70% AMI is still not within the reach of most renters. Even with all the development being built within Allston-Brighton most if not all are being built towards luxury housing. When “work-force” housing is being used to describe new developments I would think that encompasses gig workers (bartenders, waiters, Artists, etc.) a lot of the new development seems geared towards individuals who are making 60k and up.
What would/does an affordable home mean for you?
Affordable housing should be within the means of every individual that lives and works within that community. From those that work at Tech start-ups to those who work at the local Supermarket. It makes the community stronger and more vibrant and is something not only Allston-Brighton should strive for but the City of Boston.
How would your opportunities/quality of life change if you didn’t have to worry about rent going up?
The very fact of not having to spend half my paycheck towards housing would help with my savings, my overall ability to go out more than once a month, and having more capital to shop within the neighborhood. I could envision saving enough to maybe one day buy property within Allston-Brighton.
Photo by: edwardboches.com