Service Spotlight

For many, August is a month of rest and relaxation.  At CONNECT, it was a month of celebration, as we hosted not one, but two graduations. 

For graduates from our Financial Coaching Program, their ceremony was the culmination of months, or for some even years, of hard work. Before receiving their Certificates of Achievement, graduates sat around a table with one another and shared their stories: what first brought them to CONNECT, how financial coaching helped them, and what they have accomplished to date. Financial Coach Lucia Henriquez was quick to remind graduates that, while Financial Coaching is a great support, they are the reason for their own successes. “All of this is because of you,” she said. “You come to us and we help you, but it is you. You are the one who decides to make a change in your life and sticks to it.”    

One week prior, nine Metro North residents celebrated their graduation from our intensive 2.5 week Hospitality Training Program with the International Institute of New England (IINE). Graduates reflected on how much they learned in such a short timespan and how the class has equipped them to begin a career in the hospitality industry. As the City of Revere prepares for the enormous economic development expected to occur in the next 20 years, CONNECT and IINE have teamed up to make sure Revere residents have the best shot possible to secure a job at one of the many new hotels expected to open. This class was made possible by the support and funding of the City of Revere, and Mayor Brian Arrigo attended the ceremony and shared words of encouragement with the graduates. 

These celebrations were a very well-deserved moment for graduates to reflect on all the dedication they have put into achieving their goals and share in each other’s successes. If one thing is clear, though, it’s that these graduations aren’t the end of the road for any of the graduates, but rather a jumping off point to continue building off what they have learned and accomplished through this point. Financial Coaching graduates shared their future plans with each other, which included closing on a house, working towards career advancement and helping empower family, friends and neighbors to take control of their financial situation. Meanwhile, Hospitality Training Program graduates began the process of applying and interviewing for jobs almost immediately after graduation; within a week, all the graduates had the opportunity to interview with General Managers from four local hotels. 

As we celebrate this round of graduates from both our Financial Coaching and Hospitality Training Programs, we look forward to welcoming in new clients. If you are interested in Financial Coaching or our next Hospitality Training Program class this fall, please follow the below steps:

  • Financial Coaching: Call 617-545-8310 or fill out the CONNECT Intake at

  • Hospitality Training Program: Call 857-334-3406 or visit CONNECT at 4 Gerrish Ave in Chelsea, Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm or Wednesday until 7pm -- no appointment necessary. Priority given to Revere residents.

Interesting Facts

Celebrating accomplishments is key to success. A study of 12,000 diaries from 238 employees found that:

  • Tracking small achievements every day increased workers motivation.

  • Employees made progress on 76% of their best-mood days. Best-mood days often overlapped with “nourishers” -- shows of respect and words of encouragement.

 Datos Interesantes

Celebrar tus logros es una clave para tener éxito. Un estudio de 12.000 diarios de 238 empleados encontró que: 

  • Monitorizar logros pequeños cada día aumentó la motivación de trabajadores. 

  • Empleados hicieron progresos en la 76% de sus días del mejor humor. Sus días del mejor humor frecuentemente coincidieron con "nutrientes" -- muestras de respeto y palabras de ánimo.

National Service Recognition Day for Chelsea

City Manager Tom Ambrosino proclaimed Tuesday, April 2nd, to be National Service Recognition Day for Chelsea. The City Manager brought seven Chelsea-based AmeriCorps volunteers to City Hall to celebrate their hard work and dedication to bettering the community.

“Chelsea is in a very fortunate situation where a lot of great nonprofits partner to help make the lives of our residents better,” offered City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “And that’s fundamentally what the City’s role is, to improve the lives of the residents.  Thank you for being part of that.”

Three of the volunteers recognized on Tuesday serve the CONNECT program at The Neighborhood Developers: Damon Major, Laura Bither, and Evie Heffernan. CONNECT is a partnership of five organizations that together help people solve housing problems, find better jobs, take the next step in their education, and fix their personal finances.

Two of the celebrated volunteers, Sage Loomis and Sophia Ordonez, are part of the Healthy Chelsea Coalition, where they design and deliver programming about nutrition in Chelsea schools. Convened and managed by MGH, Healthy Chelsea is a community coalition focused on improving the overall health of Chelsea residents. 

One volunteer, Sam Moser, is teaching English as a Second Language as part of the Chelsea Collaborative’s menu of workforce development services. The Collaborative works to meet the basic needs of Chelsea residents, foster leadership and citizenship, and change systems for greater equity and justice.

Every year, the AmeriCorps program places thousands of volunteers in thousands of communities throughout the nation to bolster civic, neighborhood, and faith-based organizations.  For more information, see

Tips and Tricks

Build an emergency fund. It can make all the difference. Low-income families with at least $500 in an emergency fund are better off financially than moderate-income families with less saved up.

Save automatically. Setting up automatic savings is the easiest and most effective way to save, and it puts extra cash out of sight and out of mind. Every pay period, have your employer deduct a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to a retirement or savings account. 

Use the 24 hour rule. This rules helps avoid purchasing expensive or unnecessary items on impulse. Think over each nonessential purchase for at least 24 hours. This is particularly easy to do while shopping online, because you can add items to your cart or wish list and come back to them a day later. 

Consejos y trucos:

Construir un fondo de emergencia. Puede hacer toda la diferencia. Las familias de bajos ingresos con al menos $500 en un fondo de emergencia están mejor económicamente que las familias de ingresos moderados que tienen menos ahorros.

Guardar automáticamente. Configurar los ahorros automáticos es la forma más fácil y efectiva de ahorrar, y poner el dinero extra fuera al alcance de nuestra vista y fuera de la mente. En cada período de pago, haga que su empleador deduzca una cierta cantidad de su cheque de pago y lo transfiera a una cuenta de jubilación o de ahorros.

Utilice la regla de 24 horas. Estas reglas ayudan a evitar la compra de artículos caros o innecesarios por impulso. Piense en cada compra no esencial durante al menos 24 horas. Esto es particularmente fácil de hacer mientras compra en línea, ya que puede agregar artículos a su carrito o lista de deseos y regresar a ellos un día después.


Service Spotlight

Noemi is the branch manager at Chelsea’s Metro Credit Union, and is an integral part of the CONNECT team, providing financial resources to residents in the Metro North region. Born in Puerto Rico, Noemi’s parents moved to Chelsea when she was two years old, which has been her home for most of her adult life. She was a teen mom and faced many challenges, but with support and dedication, she was able to overcome becoming another statistic. Upon graduation from Chelsea High School, Noemi was given an opportunity to work for a financial institution as a part time teller. What was supposed to be a temporary job has become a 14 year career. Now, she has spent the last 5 years working for Metro Credit Union where she is a Branch Manager at the Chelsea Broadway Location and a small branch for students and staff at Chelsea High School. It is her pleasure to represent Metro Credit Union as one of the CONNECT partners and use her skills and knowledge to help the community.

So what is a credit union you may ask? Credit Unions are institutions that provide many of the services of traditional banks, accepting deposits, making loans and providing a wide array of other financial services. But, as member-owned and cooperative institutions, credit unions provide an alternative to save and borrow at reasonable rates. Through their structure, credit unions aim to deliver a local service, focusing on more personal and cooperative relationships with clients. In the case of Metro Credit Union, they have a variety of services that help people stabilize and grow their financial situations. From basic checking and savings accounts, to mortgages and business loans, there are options for people at all stages in their lives.

Within the CONNECT framework, there are a few accounts that we recommend, focusing on individuals with no or a low credit score. The first is the VISA Secured Credit Card. Through this credit card, the loan amount is guaranteed in a savings account, so you can use it and continue to build your credit. Even better, the $60 annual fee is waived for CONNECT clients. The second is the Credit Builder Loan. The money borrowed is secured in your savings account for the term of the loan. Dividends are paid on the money while you are establishing credit. Once the loan is paid in full, the money becomes available in your account.

These accounts do not fit with every person’s financial situation, so we recommend that you come by one of Metro Credit Union’s offices to talk with a representative. One day to do this would be on November 19th, when a Financial Advisor Day is held at Metro Credit Union at 365 Broadway in Chelsea. It is a wonderful opportunity for clients to come sit with a professional advisor to talk, commitment free, about some of the more complex saving issues such as life insurance or college savings. We would love to see all of you here.

Noemí es la gerente de la sucursal de Metro Credit Union en Chelsea, y es una parte integral del equipo de CONNECT, que proporciona recursos financieros a los residentes de la región de Metro Norte. Nacidos en Puerto Rico, los padres de Noemí se mudaron a Chelsea cuando ella tenía dos años, que ha sido su hogar durante la mayor parte de su vida adulta. Era una madre adolescente y enfrentó muchos desafíos, pero con apoyo y dedicación, pudo superar el hecho de convertirse en otra estadística. Al graduarse de Chelsea High School, Noemí tuvo la oportunidad de trabajar para una institución financiera como cajera a tiempo parcial. Lo que se suponía que era un trabajo temporal se ha convertido en una carrera de 14 años. Ahora, ella ha pasado los últimos 5 años trabajando para Metro Credit Union, donde es gerente de una pequeña sucursal en Chelsea Broadway para estudiantes y personal de Chelsea High School. Es su placer representar a Metro Credit Union como uno de los socios de CONNECT y utilizar sus habilidades y conocimientos para ayudar a la comunidad.

Entonces, ¿qué es una cooperativa de crédito? Las cooperativas de crédito son instituciones que brindan muchos de los servicios de los bancos tradicionales, aceptan depósitos, hacen préstamos y brindan una amplia gama de otros servicios financieros. Pero, como instituciones de propiedad de sus miembros y cooperativas, las cooperativas de crédito ofrecen una alternativa para ahorrar y pedir préstamos a tasas razonables. A través de su estructura, las cooperativas de crédito apuntan a brindar un servicio local, enfocándose en relaciones más personales y de cooperación con los clientes. En el caso de Metro Credit Union, tienen una variedad de servicios que ayudan a las personas a estabilizar y hacer crecer sus situaciones financieras. Desde cuentas corrientes y de ahorro básicas, hasta hipotecas y préstamos comerciales, hay opciones para personas en todas las etapas de sus vidas.

Dentro del marco de CONNECT, hay algunas cuentas que recomendamos, centradas en personas sin o con una puntuación de crédito baja. La primera es la tarjeta de crédito asegurada VISA. A través de esta tarjeta de crédito, el monto del préstamo está garantizado en una cuenta de ahorros, para que pueda usarlo y continuar construyendo su crédito. Aún mejor, la tarifa anual de $ 60 no se aplica a los clientes de CONNECT. El segundo es el Credit Builder Loan. El dinero prestado está asegurado en su cuenta de ahorros durante el plazo del préstamo. Los dividendos se pagan sobre el dinero mientras usted establece el crédito. Una vez que el préstamo se haya pagado en su totalidad, el dinero estará disponible en su cuenta.

Estas cuentas no se ajustan a la situación financiera de cada persona, por lo que le recomendamos que acuda a una de las oficinas de Metro Credit Union para hablar con un representante. Un día para hacer esto sería el 19 de noviembre, cuando se celebra el Día del Asesor Financiero en Metro Credit Union en 365 Broadway en Chelsea. Es una oportunidad maravillosa para que los clientes se sienten con un asesor profesional para hablar, sin compromiso, sobre algunos de los problemas de ahorro más complejos, como los seguros de vida o los ahorros universitarios. Nos encantaría verlos a todos aquí.


  • 82% of current credit union members have recommended their institution to others.

  • With more than 5,000 credit unions across the globe and access to tens of thousands of ATMs, credit unions are increasingly convenient on a national scale.

  • President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934 to promote thriftiness and prevent usury during the Great Depression.

  • Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions and are owned by the people they serve.

Tips and Tricks

Calendars for community engagement are circulated by your local government and different organizations throughout the community. Here are some calendars and newsletters that you can use to get involved in your community.

Aside from government, local organizations are continuously looking for volunteers. Groups like the Salvation Army, the Chelsea Collaborative, or the Mystic Valley Elder Services are utilizing volunteer networks to provide necessary services to the community.

Finally, there are volunteer websites that do the work for you, providing you with a list of organizations that you can volunteer at. Take a look at or for a full list of volunteer opportunities.

We hope that you find a fulfilling way to give back to the community.

Service Spotlight

Community Engagement at the Neighborhood Developers

Community engagement is a central piece of The Neighborhood Developers philosophy, building relationships, elevating leadership, and then supporting residents to collectively reach their financial and personal goals. Sharon Fosbury, The Neighborhood Developer’s Community Engagement Manager puts it best, saying: “Community Engagement is the power that exists within a community.  Neighborhood safety and neighborhood transformation lie in the hands of community members, and it is only when the community is engaged or mobilized that true community stability and sustainability is possible.”

Events are one of the key ways to foster a sense of community. On October 4th, The Neighborhood Developers hosted the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at 4 Gerrish Ave, where people from across the community expressed their passion for their heritage through arts, music, and crafts. Tables with national flags and unique artifacts were placed around the building, as people mingled, sharing a bounty of food and stories. Bringing over 75 adults and children together in one space to express their unique and shared backgrounds was an exciting experience. Jose Iraheta, one of the organizers of the event, says that “ The Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration is a moment where everyone can celebrate both cultural differences and shared values; it is a moment where people can rejoice and share their culture and know it will be welcomed.”

Community engagement finds an especially meaningful place with the tenants who live at The Neighborhood Developers’ properties. Affordable housing is not enough on its own. Instead, we try our best to ensure that residents are engaged, and we bring events to their place of living. These events focus on health, wellness, and connection to the community. On October 3rd, Officer Joanne O’Brien spoke at the Spencer Green Apartments at “Coffee With a Cop”. Talking with residents in an informal setting about the support services that the police department offers provides a greater feeling of safety in their local environment. Through activities such as this, we try to connect individuals to activities within their vicinity and cultivate trust.

We will bring our experience to the rest of Massachusetts, as members of our staff attend the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations Convention. By strategizing with other agencies around the Boston Metro area as to how we can provide the best services to the community, we look forward to continuing our contributions. If you are interested in getting more involved in your neighborhood, come by our office at 4 Gerrish Ave, your local government office, or one of many local agencies that can direct you towards fulfilling volunteer work or community engagement.


Expired ITINs cannot be used to file taxes in 2019.

You need to renew your ITIN if ANY of these are true:

  • You have not used your ITIN to file a Tax Return in the past 3 years
  • The middle digits of your ITIN are 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, 82
  • The middle digits of your ITIN are 70,71,72,78, 79, or 80 and your ITIN has already expired.

How to renew:

  1. Get Form W-7 from

  2. Complete the W-7 Form and mail it to the IRS with certified copies (This means that it must be an official copy sent from organization that gave you the original) of any requested identification documents, to the IRS address listed on the form.

Where to find help:

Greater Boston Legal Services (617-603-1569) and Cambridge Economic Opportunity Council (617-868-2900) provide free ITIN services.


Make an appointment at an IRS center:  Bring a completed W-7 and originals of any requested identification documents to your appointment.  To make an appointment at the Boston Office call 844-545-5640


Los ITIN vencidos no se pueden usar para declarar impuestos en el 2019.

Necesitará  renovar su ITIN si la siguiente información le aplica a usted.

CUALQUIERA de estos son verdaderos:

  • No ha utilizado su ITIN para presentar una declaración de impuestos en los últimos 3 años
  • Los dígitos entremedios de su ITIN son 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, 82
  • ó si los dígitos medios de su ITIN son 70,71,72,78, 79 u 80 y su ITIN ya se ha vencido.

Cómo renovar:

Obtenga el Formulario W-7 de

Complete el Formulario W-7 y envíelo por correo al IRS con copias certificadas (Esto significa que debe ser una copia oficial enviada desde la organización que le entregó el original) de los documentos de identificación solicitados, a la dirección del IRS indicada en el formulario.

Dónde usted puede encontrar ayuda:

Greater Boston Legal Services (617-603-1569) y Cambridge Economic Opportunity Council (617-868-2900) brindan servicios gratuitos de ITIN.


Haga una cita en un centro del IRS: Lleve un W-7 completo y los originales de los documentos de identificación solicitados a su cita. Para hacer una cita en la Oficina de Boston llame al 844-545-5640

Service Spotlight: Housing Counselor

Introducing Blanca Gomez, new Housing Counselor from Metro Housing Boston

My name is Blanca Gomez. I decided to enroll in Union Capital Boston in 2013 because I valued its innovative narrative around and approach to poverty, in which “the power and potential of low-income families” is realized and they are “allowed to come together and access the resources they need to thrive.” I have embraced this mission and immersed myself in my community, sharing resourceful tools to others that I enjoyed so much. The positive effects that I believe I produced from working with others, whether is helping them develop skills or make connections, I see these relationships as a chance to improve the quality of life of both others and myself.

In particular, I am very much involved in my community service through my position as an FII/DSNI Fellow, performing “community outreach for families that are striving for a better tomorrow” by “providing care, support and counseling to individuals dealing with various issues” so that they can become more self-sufficient. For example, “arranging community gatherings and helping families who need resources to make changes to their daily lifestyle” and “providing emotional support to families.” I am very connected with many nonprofit organizations such as Project Hope as an ambassador, an advocate for Homes for Families, Cradles to Crayon, Community Serving and those are just a few.   I have noted that these can often be a difficult job, but it is satisfying just to see families connected with their community. I enjoy that there is a mutually beneficial relationship between the families I serve and myself.

Back in 2012, I received my GED at the age of 39, which was an amazing feeling. I graduated with my Associates Degree from Bunker Hill Community College in 2017.

My achievements have not been without failure.

I attribute a few other things to my success as well. First is my mother, who I lost in 1997, but has served as a reminder to endure hardship and continue developing myself along with my two children, who are the world to me, and my young grandson.  At a early age, I had many obstacles, but all I see now is many accomplishments. Now that I am 45 years old, I have come to the realization of self-worth and potential, observing from many that “it became clear that the secret of success is to believe in you first.” I recognize that finding values and purpose of life meaning is my uniqueness that has allowed me to excel.  I feel I am where I need to be as a Case Manager for Metro Housing Boston is my calling because it allows me to continue helping others and connect individuals and families with many other resources that are within their community.

I hope to use my experience and understandings to continue to reach for the stars and many goals in the near future. For example, I hope to play a larger role in domestic violence intervention by helping men and women have more courage to stand up to their attacker. In general, however, I would just like to continue helping those in need and making a difference.

In reflecting, I only say this to others, “If you have a dream, never put yourself on hold; reach for the stars and make your dream a reality. It’s not about always receiving, it’s about being proactive and giving back to our community and making changes in your lifestyle for a better future for both yourself and your family.”   

Mi nombre es Blanca Gomez. Decidí inscribirme en Union Capital Boston en 2013 porque valoré su narrativa innovadora en torno a la pobreza, en la que "el poder y el potencial de las familias de bajos ingresos" se realiza y se les permite "reunirse y acceder a los recursos que necesistan para poder prosperar. " He acogido esta misión y me he sumergido en mi comunidad, compartiendo herramientas ingeniosas para los demás que disfruté mucho. Los efectos positivos que creo que producí al trabajar con otros, ya sea para ayudarlos a desarrollar habilidades o hacer conexiones, veo estas relaciones como una oportunidad para mejorar la calidad de vida de los demás y de mí misma.

En particular, estoy muy involucrada en mi servicio a la comunidad a través de mi puesto como FII / DSNI Fellow, realizando "alcance comunitario para familias que luchan por un mejor mañana" al "brindar atención, apoyo y asesoramiento a personas que se enfrentan a diversos problemas" "Para que puedan ser más autosuficientes". Por ejemplo, "organizar reuniones comunitarias y ayudar a familias que necesitan recursos para realizar cambios en su estilo de vida cotidiano" y "brindar apoyo emocional a las familias". Estoy muy conectada con muchas organizaciones sin fines de lucro como Project Hope como embajadora, defensora de Hogares para las familias, Cradles to Crayon, Community Serving y esas son solo algunas. He notado que a menudo puede ser un trabajo difícil, pero es satisfactorio ver a las familias conectadas con su comunidad. Me gusta que haya una relación mutuamente beneficiosa entre las familias que sirvo y yo.

En 2012, recibí mi GED a la edad de 39 años, que fue una sensación increíble. Me gradué con mi título asociado de Bunker Hill Community College en 2017.

Mis logros no han sido sin fracaso.

Atribuyo algunas otras cosas a mi éxito también. Primero está mi madre, a quien perdí en 1997, pero me ha servido como recordatorio para soportar las dificultades y continuar desarrollándome junto con mis dos hijos, que son el mundo para mí y mi nieto. A temprana edad, tuve muchos obstáculos, pero todo lo que veo ahora son muchos logros. Ahora que tengo 45 años, he llegado a la comprensión de la autoestima y el potencial, observando de muchos que "quedó claro que el secreto del éxito es creer en ti primero". Reconozco que encontrar valores y el propósito de el significado de la vida es mi singularidad que me ha permitido destacarme. Siento que estoy donde necesito estar como administrador de casos para Metro Housing Boston es mi vocación porque me permite seguir ayudando a otros y conectar a personas y familias con muchos otros recursos que están dentro de su comunidad.

Espero utilizar mi experiencia y comprensión para continuar buscando las estrellas y muchos objetivos en el futuro cercano. Por ejemplo, espero desempeñar un papel más importante en la intervención contra la violencia doméstica al ayudar a hombres y mujeres a tener más valor para enfrentar a su agresor. En general, sin embargo, me gustaría continuar ayudando a los necesitados y marcando la diferencia.

Al reflexionar, solo digo esto a otros: "Si tienes un sueño, nunca te detengas; busca las estrellas y haz tu sueño realidad. No se trata de recibir siempre, se trata de ser proactivo y ayudar a nuestra comunidad y hacer cambios en su estilo de vida para un futuro mejor para usted y su familia.”

Three things to spend your tax refund on for a happy 2018 :

Three things to spend your tax refund on for a happy 2018 :

  1. Pay down high interest debt: Debt from credit cards or high interest loans can grow very quickly, paying it down will help you to save money over the year.  
  2. Pay back taxes:  This one may seem strange, but if you owe tax money to the federal government you may still get a state refund or vice versa.  Using that refund to pay down other taxes is a great idea, especially since the government can seize your assets or wages if you owe taxes.  
  3. Invest in yourself:  Using your tax refund to invest in yourself by putting it away for retirement, paying for classes to help you get a better job, or just saving it for a rainy day are all great ways to use the money you get back to have an ever better year in 2018.  

Tres cosas para gastar su reembolso de impuestos para un 2018 feliz:

  1. Pague la deuda de alto interés: la deuda de las tarjetas de crédito o los préstamos con intereses altos puede crecer muy rápidamente, pagarla le ayudará a ahorrar dinero durante el año.
  2. Pagar impuestos: este puede parecer extraño, pero si le debe dinero de impuestos al gobierno federal, puede obtener un reembolso del estado o viceversa. Usar esa devolución para pagar otros impuestos es una gran idea, especialmente porque el gobierno puede confiscar sus activos o salarios si debe impuestos.
  3. Invierte en ti mismo: usar tu reembolso de impuestos para invertir en ti mismo, guardarlo para la jubilación, pagar clases para ayudarte a obtener un mejor trabajo o simplemente guardarlo para un día lluvioso son todas maneras excelentes de utilizar el dinero que recibes. tener un año cada vez mejor en 2018.

Looking for additional income?  


A small company near the Maverick T station in East Boston is looking for a reliable, detail-oriented, friendly person with sewing skills to help prepare and finish luxury leather bags and accessories on a part-time basis.  Duties may also include some occasional light administrative work.  Applicants must be able to demonstrate their skills either through an in-person demonstration or by sending photos. Experience with cutting and and sewing on an industrial sewing machine would be ideal.  Position pays $11-18 per hour depending on your skills, and has the potential to become full time in the future.  Number of hours per week will vary based on order volume.  Working hours are flexible between 9am-6pm weekdays, though some weekend work may be possible.  Applicants must have at least a basic command of English plus a willingness to learn more.  Outgoing personalities a plus!  Send a letter, resume, and/or photos to

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

WBUR: Boston-Area Rent Hikes Moderate, But Affordability Challenges Persist
Rent increases moderated in the Boston metro area this year, but affordability challenges for renters persist here and elsewhere, a national report shows.

CityLab: The Trump Administration Just Derailed a Key Obama Rule on Housing Segregation
HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing policy required communities to confront racial inequities in housing. Now, it’s being postponed.

Everett Independent: Everett Square Revitalization Plan to Hold Public Forum Jan 24
City staff and planning consultants from the BSC Group, Inc. will provide information on the Revitalization Plan and the issues to be addressed in the plan. 

UnitedWay: Help Them Stay Warm
Your donation to United Way’s Family Fund directly supports community-based organizations that provide heating assistance to families in need, including The Neighborhood Developers/CONNECT.

HousingPerspectives: Low-Cost Rental Housing Increasingly Difficult to Find
While rental markets are cooling nationally, market conditions remain extremely tight at the low end of the market, offering little relief to affordability pressures faced by renters with the lowest incomes, according to our new report, America’s Rental Housing 2017.

ChelseaRecord: Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit
What started as a summer get-together for neighbors near the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home neighborhood has turned into an effort that has logged many miles this fall within their community.

BostonGlobe: New MassHousing chief has an atypical background
Chrystal Kornegay is the the first woman and the first person of color to lead the quasi-public MassHousing agency.

NPR: Advocates Fear Tax Bill Will Worsen U.S. Affordable Housing Shortage
The U.S. faces a severe shortage of affordable housing, and housing advocates fear the recent tax bill and potential budget cuts will make matters worse.

UrbanInstitute: Why we need to expand, not restrict, access to housing assistance
Federal safety net programs are intended to protect the most vulnerable Americans—such as the elderly, people with severe disabilities, and young children—and stabilize those who have fallen on hard times and help them move to solid ground.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CityLab: Is the Rental Housing Explosion Over?
For the first time since 2005, growth in new rental housing slowed down. Are there really enough apartments to meet demand?

WBUR: Boston-Area Rent Hikes Moderate, But Affordability Challenges Persist
Rent increases moderated in the Boston metro area this year, but affordability challenges for renters persist here and elsewhere, a national report shows.

Chelsea Record: Chelsea Hill Walking Group Formed Out of Community Spirit
What started as a summer get-together for neighbors near the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home neighborhood has turned into an effort that has logged many miles this fall within their community.

RevereJournal: Arrigo and Mayors Coalition Look to Increase Housing Stock
Leaders from 14 cities and towns, including Revere, in the Greater Boston area have banded together to form the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition of Greater Boston to address housing stock, accessibility and affordability

Stong Towns: 5 Low Cost Ideas To Make Your City Wealthier
Today I'm flying home from my last trip of the year. Last night I spoke in Panama City, Florida to a large and enthusiastic group of people in a community struggling with some large development proposals. Their core frustration is a common one.

TheCrimeReport: You’re Safer in a ‘Sanctuary City,’ says New Study
In a rebuttal to government claims that “sanctuary” cities are breeding grounds for crime driven by undocumented immigrants, a new study says that residents of areas where authorities limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities are safer from violent death.

JCHS: America's Rental Housing 2017
A decade of unprecedented growth in the rental housing market may be coming to an end, according to our 2017 America’s Rental Housing report.

Everett Independent: Everett Wins Grant for Pilot Bus Rapid Transit Features in 2018
Everett has taken the initiative to be on the cutting edge of transforming its public transportation system, according to one influential Boston foundation…

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

MarketPlace: Investors make a bet to lift Boston-area neighborhood out of poverty
How do you raise the standard of living in the poorest neighborhoods in the country?

CityLab: How Congress's Tax Plans Could Kill a Million Affordable Homes in a Decade
The final tax bill that goes to the White House could have very little effect on housing affordability—or it could gut mechanisms for encouraging it.

Bostonomix: 14 Boston-Area Municipal Leaders Pledge To Increase Housing Production
In a new effort to try to ease the Boston area's high housing costs, 14 municipal leaders are pledging to work together to increase the pace of housing construction throughout the region.

TheAtlantic: The Never-Ending Foreclosure
How can the country survive the next economic crash if millions of families still haven't recovered from the last one?

Curbed: First-time homebuying 101: Tips for buying your first home
All the expert advice and tips you need to prepare for buying your first home.

CityLab: What the Republican Tax Bill Means for Commuters, Renters, and Retirees
The most serious effects of the House and Senate proposals would unfold over years for urban citizens.

Bloomberg: House Tax Bill Threatens to Make Housing Even Less Affordable for Poor
Even before Hurricane Harvey dumped 50 inches of rain on Houston, damaging hundreds of thousands of homes and apartments, affordable housing was already scarce. Because of rising rents, more than 200,000 low-income residents were spending over half their earnings on someplace to live.

UrbanWire: Housing and Housing Finance
America isn’t in a housing bubble, but some cities might be

NewYorkTime: The Great American Single-Family Home Problem
Building more housing, more densely, could help address a widespread economic challenge. A fight over one lot in Berkeley, Calif., shows how tough that could be.

Chelsea Record: ZBA Approves Eleanor Street Apartment Building
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a new apartment building project at 25 Eleanor St. on what is currently an industrial building with parking lot.

Jwtintelligence: Can Silicon Valley design the tech-optimized city of the future?
From smart clothing to smart buildings, the latest iteration of technology infiltrating the everyday is smart cities. Tech companies are hoping to become the next urban planner, with two projects announced this year from Google and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

MotherJones: The Republican Tax Bill Would Gut Affordable Housing in America
Nearly a million rental units could be lost in the next decade.

HowHousingMatters: Why Educators, Health Professionals, and Others Focused on Economic Mobility Should Care about Housing
Cities striving to improve residents’ lives often focus on such issues as schools, parks, jobs, or health. Often overlooked is something equally fundamental.

LAWeekly: What Happens When Wall Street Is Your Landlord?
On the afternoon of Sept. 2, Robert Allen returned home from work earlier than usual to discover a guy posting a piece of paper to his front door. The uninvited guest said he worked for the landlord.

BostonGlobe: There’s barely any housing being built in the suburbs
Greater Boston is adding housing at a rapid clip, but really just in Boston and a handful of close-in cities. Most suburban towns aren’t building much at all.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

Everett Independent: St Therese’s Church to Be Developed into Elderly, Middle-Income Housing
The old St. Therese’s Church on Broadway was well known for spending nearly 1,500 days in a vigil protest of the closing of the beloved Parish.

ProPublica: Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race
After ProPublica revealed last year that Facebook advertisers could target housing ads to whites only, the company announced it had built a system to spot and reject discriminatory ads. We retested and found major omissions.

StrongTowns: 4 Easy Steps To Squash The "There's No Parking" Argument
I wish I had a bus ticket for every time I heard someone say this. Unless you're Manhattan or San Francisco, it is fair to say you don't have a parking problem. I take that back. You do have a parking problem – there’s too much of it.

Washington Post: The left reconsiders zoning
Many on the political left have begun to rethink restrictive zoning and point out the ways in which it makes housing more expensive for the poor and lower middle class, and deprives them of job opportunities.

The Hill: Tax reform could be catastrophic for millions of low-income families
Nearly 1 million homes affordable to low-income families, seniors and veterans are at risk as Congress negotiates a final tax bill. That’s 1 million households whose stability, health and economic well-being is threatened. We cannot let this happen.

The Urban Edge: How The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Process Affects Access To Jobs, Good Schools And More
In Houston, roughly 37 percent of homeowners and renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, according to 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau. That bar is often used as a measure of affordability and Houston, like many other cities across the country, is facing a shortage of affordable housing.

WBUR: Wynn Casino Opens Final Phase Of Environmental Cleanup
Riding up the Mystic River, you can see all of the work underway to build the resort casino coming to the Boston area in about 18 more months.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Budget Briefs: The Republican Two-Step Fiscal Agenda
Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families.

The Salem News: Company donates land for future city housing credits
A small-scale affordable housing complex is set to occupy a vacant lot at 2 Hardy St., behind where Beverly Crossing recently built a new apartment building at 131 Rantoul St.

City Lab: The Arc of Gentrification Bends Towards Spike Lee
Spike Lee’s beef with gentrification in Brooklyn comes full circle in his new “She’s Gotta Have It” Netflix series.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

MHP: Analysis: House tax reform would drastically cut state's affordable production, preservation
BOSTON --- An analysis by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership in conjunction with the state’s key housing agencies shows that the House tax reform bill currently under consideration would reduce the production and preservation of affordable housing in Massachusetts by approximately 69 percent.

JCHS: A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality
Almost 50 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, what would it take to meaningfully reduce residential segregation and/or mitigate its negative consequences in the United States?

Zumper: Boston Neighborhood Prices Mapped This Fall 2017
Coming ahead of Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle, Boston was the 5th most expensive city to rent in the nation. The price of one and two bedroom units settled at medians of $2,200 and $2,610, respectively.

HSH: The salary you must earn to buy a home in the 50 largest metros
See below exactly how much salary you would need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in the 50 most populous metropolitan areas.

A few years ago, I came up with the idea that we should go out and take photos of half-empty parking lots on Black Friday and post them online just to show people how silly parking requirements are.

CoDesign: The Airbnb For Affordable Housing Is Here
Nesterly, a new platform that pairs older homeowners with young renters, is riding a wave of interest in multigenerational living.

Chelsea Record: Brass Tax: some residents will see a decrease in property taxes this year
The Chelsea City Council unanimously set the property tax rates for residential and commercial properties on Monday night, instituting an increased 27.5 percent owner-occupant exemption that will lead to a reduction in taxes for most single-family homeowners.

Revere Journal: Capital Improvement Plan Details Revere’s Focus Through 2022
It was capital improvement night at the City Council on Monday night, when Mayor Brian Arrigo presented a report detailing a proposed capital improvement plan and a plan for the Department of Public Works facility.

CityLab: The Story Behind the Housing Meme That Swept the Internet
How a popular meme about neoliberal capitalism and fast-casual architecture owned itself.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CityLab: The Fight Over Fair Housing Goes to Court (Again)
Civil rights groups are fighting the suspension of a HUD rule they say helps low-income families move to better neighborhoods.

ChelseaRecord: New Chelsea Day Center Making a Difference in Homeless Community
In years past, when it was severely cold, those living on the streets of Chelsea had nowhere to go but under blankets.

WashingtonPost: America’s affordable-housing stock dropped by 60 percent from 2010 to 2016
The number of apartments deemed affordable for very low-income families across the United States fell by more than 60 percent between 2010 and 2016, according to a new report by Freddie Mac.

HousingWire: Thousands of groups call on Congress to use MID savings for low-income housing
Organizations, state and local governments and elected officials stand together.

EverettIndependent: Beacham Street Re-Design to Focus on Freight, Bikes and Pedestrians
Beacham Street is a critical corridor for the region’s food supply, with it being one of the only ways that large semi-trucks can get fruits and vegetables from the New England Produce Market to the highway.

CityLab: The New 'Digital' Sanctuaries
Cities that were at the forefront of limiting their own participation in aggressive federal immigration enforcement are now expanding the scope of their work: Protecting their residents from data-collection and surveillance, too.

RevereJournal: Voters Approve Question 1
Revere voters overwhelming approved Ballot Question 1 by a vote of 4543 to 1,398 in Tuesday’s election.  The approval would give a tax break of about $450 to about 1,000 senior citizens who want to stay in their homes.

Forbes: Does Gentrification Help Or Harm Small Businesses?
Gentrification is all about renovating neighborhoods so that people who are affluent will want to live in them.

MarketWatch: Republican tax plan could grind affordable housing construction to a virtual halt
The tax plan proposed by Congressional Republicans will likely decimate production of new affordable rental housing, even as housing shortages across the country are driving rents higher and taking ever-larger shares of Americans’ incomes.

TheGuardian: Gentrification is sweeping through America. Here are the people fighting back
In Atlanta, a neighborhood is resisting the use of eminent domain, which allows government to take private property for public use

WickedLocal_Medford: COLLINS: Poverty and the working class
Working-class poverty means never being able to pay all the bills. You rob Peter to pay Paul. You pay the electric bill this month, the water bill next month.

The Conversation: How the proposed budget and tax cuts could stunt new affordable housing
Low-income Americans are already struggling to keep a roof over their heads due to a growing affordable housing shortage.

NEXTCity: Meet the New Immigrants Reviving a Philadelphia Neighborhood
In Oxford Circle, one in four residents was born outside the U.S. Their futures are the future of Philadelphia.

Link It Over

Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CityLab: Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?
As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

Chelsea Record: Four Councillors Call for Building Moratorium Regarding Parking ‘Crisis’
Four Chelsea City Councillors called for a one-year moratorium on all building projects that cannot meet the off-street parking requirements spelled out in the City’s zoning regulations.

Boston Globe: Building more homes means crowded schools, right? Not so, study says
It’s long been a truism thrown about during suburban housing debates: More homes in a town means more kids in the schools.

Revere Journal: Paying Big Bucks:Several Key Properties Bought by New Developers
Westbrook Partners, of New York City, have acquired the 194-unit Vanguard at Waterfront Square luxury apartment community on Revere Beach, which opened in 2016, for $59.85 million in cash. The sale amounts to approximately $308,505 per unit.

Fast Company: Living In A Dense City Makes Citizens Healthier
More density means less obesity. But there’s a sweet spot: Too much density is bad, too.

CityLab: Where Evictions Hurt the Most
A new Apartment List report aims to more accurately estimate the scope of America’s eviction problem.

WBUR: The Evolving Vocational-Tech School: Preparing Students For Work In Growing Fields
This story is part of a BostonomiX series called “The Future Of Work” that examines the jobs of the future and the skills needed for those jobs.

CityLab: The Rise of the Rich Renter
“The rise in higher-income renter households may mask the significant housing affordability challenges faced by lower-income renter households.”

Brookings: Yet more evidence that housing affordability is getting worse
Evidence continues to pile up revealing that housing affordability is getting worse, particularly for low-income households.

Everett Independent: Master Plan for Malden River Greenway Completed, Ready
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), in partnership with the cities of Everett, Malden, and Medford, announced the completion this week of the Malden River Greenway Vision Plan to reimagine the future of the Malden River.

Fast Company: What Happens When Land Is More Expensive Than The Buildings On Top?
Because of policies that prevent density, cities have ended up in a position where the value of land vastly outstrips the value of the buildings on them.


Links from the web that we found relevant. They don't always represent our point of view, but they're interesting:

CNBC: No full-time minimum-wage worker can afford a 2-bedroom apartment in any US state
The absolute least that an employer is legally allowed to pay an employee for an hour's work varies across the country, but one fact remains constant: In no state does working 40 hours a week for minimum wage enable a person to rent a median two-bedroom apartment.

Chelsea Record: French Club Comes Down to Make Way for Affordable Housing
After hundreds of athletic banquets, wedding receptions and a whose who list of Chelsea political functions, that history all came tumbling down last Friday when the French Naturalization Club on Spencer Avenue was demolished for affordable housing.

WBUR: Bostonians, Today's The Deadline To Register To Vote In Next Month's Election
Wednesday is the last day Boston residents can register if they want to vote in the city's municipal election on Nov. 7.

CityLab: Experimental City: The Sci-Fi Utopia That Never Was
With solar energy, recycling, computers, and personal mass transit, the 1960s-era Minnesota Experimental City was a prescient and hopeful vision of the urban future. A new documentary tells its story.

Co.Design: Alphabet Inc. Plans A Beta City
Can Alphabet and Sidewalk Labs produce great urban design? Toronto is about to find out.

Chelsea Record: Economic Independence: Chelsea Among Four Housing Authorities to Receive $389,000 in Planning Grants
Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito announced a total of $389,000 in planning and predevelopment grants for Housing Authorities in Chelsea, Gloucester, New Bedford and Taunton to pursue implementation of Worcester Housing Authority-pioneered ‘A Better Life’ programming.

WGBH: Senate Promotes Justice Reform; Prepares For Clash With The House
The state House and Senate are headed toward a showdown over how to overhaul the criminal justice system.

CityLab: America Can't Fix Poverty Until It Stops Hating Poor People
A bipartisan plea to stop “othering” those living on the economic margins.

Banker&Tradesman: MassHousing Seizes Opportunity In Low-Interest-Rate Environment
Over the past two years, Massachusetts has preserved more affordable housing units than ever before.

Sampan: Mayor Walsh joins community members to celebrate preservation of 52 units of affordable housing in Fenway
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined representatives from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Fenway Community Development Corporation (CDC)…

ChelseaRecord: Chelsea’s Commitment to Industrial Areas Spurs Major Purchases
Residential is king in today’s development world, with developers vying for land to build luxury apartments where previously no one would have even parked their car.

EverettIndependent: Major Property Owner in Village Area Sees Transformation
When Gerry Berberian started buying forgotten industrial land in Everett’s Village area on Air Force Road, not in the furthest reaches of his mind did he ever consider the area could become as popular