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: For Renters, the Housing Crisis Never Ended
Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing report reveals exactly where, and why, the rent is too damn high.
- JCHS of Harvard: THE STATE OF THE NATION’S HOUSING 2017

DorchesterReporter: Neighborhood Homes Initiative settling in
Moving into the grey and white house marked a new stage in the life of 24-year-old Renee Omolade. She had closed on the home on April 24, four days before her son was born, and a month later she stood on the porch in the bright sunshine holding him as city leaders and media milled around outside.

Boston Globe: In Everett an immigrant with plans to shake up city politics
Politics in Everett have long been the domain of white men, even as the demographics of the city have changed dramatically.

Washington Post: Poverty really is the result of a state of mind — among rich people
Recently, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that poverty is a state of mind, and having the right mind-set will let people escape poverty. He was both right and wrong. There is a poverty mind-set we should discuss, but it’s not the one Carson lamented.

ChelseaRecord: ZBA Approves Winnisimmet Lounge by Ciao
The Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved a special permit and variances that pave the way for the newest culinary advancement in the City – with the owners of Ciao Pizza and Pastas moving forward to open a small plate lounge that will serve alcohol and gourmet foods.

RevereJournal: Taft Street Fire Leaves 18 Homeless:Early Morning Fire Destroys Two Homes; Neighboring Structures Sustain Damage
A four-alarm fire broke out on Taft Street Tuesday morning around 4:15 a.m. in the same neighborhood hit by a tornado in 2014 leaving 18 people homeless.

RevereJournal: Fall Election Looks to be More Active than in Previous Years
So far it looks like election races are heating up for councillors in Revere and for the School Committee as well.

 

Link It Over

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

Boston Globe: Questions arise about campaign for $1b Union Square overhaul
Dianne Doherty Sullivan doesn’t give out her e-mail address. Ever. And she doesn’t really follow housing and zoning issues in Somerville, where she has lived all her life.

CityLab: Creating a Better Community Through Text Messages
As cities make their data more transparent and accountable, this project in New York found one way to use technology to engage the residents in the planning process—by prompting locals to text in ideas.

NYTimes: When Opioid Addicts Find an Ally in Blue
In this college town on the banks of Lake Champlain, Chief Brandon del Pozo has hired a plain-spoken social worker to oversee opioids policy and has begun mapping heroin deaths the way his former commanders in the New York Police Department track crime.

Detroit Free Press: HUD Secretary Ben Carson defends eliminating community block grants
In an AP exclusive interview, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says he expects to release an agenda within the next few months that delivers "bang for the buck," partly by encouraging more private-sector collaboration.

The Washington Post: Here’s how much you would need to afford rent in your state
There is nowhere in this country where someone working a full-time minimum wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Thursday documenting the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing.

AZ Central: Phoenix is the nation's 5th largest — but is it a 'real' city?
Phoenix is now the fifth-largest by population. Its land area exceeds New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The number of people who live here lags those cities, and Houston, but surpasses all others.

National Review: How to Think about Low-Income Housing
Well, raise my rent! Here’s a great big Muppet News Flash from the Washington Post: Average-priced goods are relatively expensive for low-wage consumers.

HousingWire: Affordable housing advocates plan day of action
Affordable housing advocates across the U.S. are coming together to advocate for greater investment in affordable homes and community development.

Chelsea Record: Council Plans Hearing on Broadway Store
In an effort to ramp up the downtown overhaul, City Manager Tom Ambrosino submitted a request to the City Council to hold a hearing and move forward with an eminent domain taking of the Salvation Army Store at 440 Broadway.

 

Link It Over

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

City Lab: The Dramatic Health Disparities Between Rich and Poor Americans
When it comes to unequal health outcomes, the U.S. is outranked only by Portugal and Chile, a new study finds.

Chelsea Record: City May Try to Take Salvation Army Store by Eminent Domain
The Salvation Army Store on Broadway closed earlier this month, and the City said this week that it is seriously considering taking the property by eminent domain due to it being a blight on the city and for public policy purposes.

Chelsea Record: Chelsea Public Library Wins NASA@ My Library Grant
The Chelsea Public Library announced Tuesday that it has been awarded a grant from NASA and the American Library Association called NASA@ My Library.

Revere Journal: One Beach to Receive LEED Certification
The Neighborhood Developers announces that it expects to receive LEED certification for its housing development One Beach, located in downtown Revere. LEED is a nationally recognized standard for sustainable development, created by the U.S. Green Building Council, to honor buildings of different types and uses that are designed to meet criteria for sustainable design.

Revere Journal: Suffolk Downs New Owner Lays Out Development Plan
Former Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Director Thomas O’Brien’s development firm HYM announced it has closed on its purchase of Suffolk Downs last Friday.

Landor: Branding for buildings: Name your building before the public does
Traditionally, Londoners have had a rocky relationship with the city’s skyscrapers and tall buildings; with nicknames like the Cheesegrater, Walkie Talkie, and Trellis, it’s little wonder why.

Curbed: America’s declining mobility has millennials feeling stuck
Why Americans are moving less, and why that’s a big deal for housing and economic opportunity

 

 

CONNECT Intake & Public Benefits Internship

The Neighborhood Developers, Inc. (TND) creates vibrant neighborhoods where people from all walks of life can thrive. Focused in Chelsea and Revere, TND has crafted a remarkable track record of success through investments that are conceived, designed, and fostered by neighborhood residents, municipal partners, and many stakeholders. TND brings its core strengths -- building homes, engaging neighbors, and fostering economic mobility -- to community partnerships that create thriving families and strong neighborhoods. TND created and supports the CONNECT Financial Opportunity Center that co-locates and integrates the services of five agencies working together to improve the financial mobility of 4,000 clients annually.

Based at the CONNECT office in Chelsea, the Intake & Public Benefits intern will work one-on-one to help families apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps), MassHealth, and WIC benefits. These public benefits have proven antipoverty impacts for low income families and provide an important safety net. Each of these public benefits provides clients with a significant increase to their monthly income, but many of CONNECT’s clients are missing out on accessing these benefits due to systemic barriers in the application process, stigma associated with participation in government programs, or lack of awareness of eligibility. The Public Benefits intern will help eliminate barriers to financial stability among CONNECT’s low-income constituency through providing application assistance and case management support throughout the entire application process.  The intern will help families to submit applications for benefits, collect required documentation, and navigate the complicated application process. Additional responsibilities include participating in bi-weekly core services staff meetings, providing an orientation of other services to clients, completing intake forms, calling the DTA and MassHealth customer assistance lines to help resolve client cases, and creating referrals to other services. Other tasks and activities may be added, based on the intern’s interests and organizational need.

This position is a good match for you if you like working directly with families, are bilingual (English and Spanish), have a high attention to detail, and can advocate for others. You’ll find that no two cases are the same, so this position requires creativity and flexibility in figuring out how to best help each client. The position also requires a high level of responsibility and ability to work independently.

We are looking to fill multiple intern positions and will fill the positions on a rolling basis. The ideal candidate can commit to a minimum of 10 hours a week. The schedule is flexible, and will be determined based on your availability and program need.

For more information, please contact Blake Roberts Crall, Program Director:
broberts@tndinc.org    617-889-1375 x128

Celebrating 10 Years of VITA

Revere and Chelsea, MA -- In the world of upside-down tax programs, for every dollar of homeownership tax benefits a low-income family gets, a multi-millionaire will get $15,450 (The Topic Policy Center). But there is one tax program that actually has a positive impact on the working families that need the assistance: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

And The Neighborhood Developers (TND) is having its 10th anniversary of providing VITA services to Chelsea and Revere.  On average, the tax-credit refund amount for TND's VITA clients is 9% of their annual income. So coming to TND for just one service gets them almost a 10th of their income for the whole year. This means they really rely on this service being available to them.

Across the nation, each year VITA volunteers prepare millions of tax returns at thousands of tax sites nationwide. “In 2014, the EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit] lifted 6.7 million people out of poverty. The same year, the Child Tax Credit protected approximately 3.1 million people from poverty, including about 1.6 million children.” (Results.org) Here is a moment to multiply 6.7 million and 3.1 million by 10 years.

Organizations like The Neighborhood Developers open their doors to residents and guide them through the tax system to life-changing tax credits, including: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); Child Tax Credit (CTC); and The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).

The late Senator Edward Kennedy said, “If you work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, in the richest nation in the world, you should not have to live in poverty.” For millions of families, VITA made that a reality.

The Neighborhood Developers and the other VITA organizations around the country provide this service with the help of volunteers. Volunteers are the core of VITA. Many come with no experience working with taxes, and they are trained by organizations like The Neighborhood Developers on how to provide this direct service, to participate in the national movement that collectively pulls millions of people out of poverty.