ALERT: Support AHO Amendment at Planning Board Tues., 8/29; Event Announcements

TUESDAY, August 29th at 6:30pm, the Planning Board will continue its review of the Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO) amendments and make a recommendation to the City Council.

The correct sign-up link for Tuesday's Planning Board meeting on the 100% Affordable Housing Overlay amendments is here. Sign up now to get in early on the public comments!

As a reminder, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, August 29 at 6:30 p.m. to continue its discussion of a zoning petition to amend the 100% Affordable Housing Overlay to create more affordable housing in Cambridge. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Register here to provide public comment. 

We know that opponents of affordable housing will be out in force, and one of the Planning Board members most supportive of affordable housing indicated they are unable to attend, so we need your support!

For more information on this proposed zoning amendment, please click here.

🙏 Thanks so much for your help in educating and gaining the Planning Board's support for the AHO amendments and moving the initiative forward to a hopefully quick final passage by City Council! 🙏

Justin, Dan, and Becca 


TUESDAY, August 29th at 6:30pm, the Planning Board will continue its review of the Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO) amendments and make a recommendation to the City Council.

At the previous Planning Board meeting on August 8th where the AHO amendments were discussed, it appeared that several of the Planning Board members

  • Were not convinced of the need and urgency for the amendments to enable more affordable housing, despite thousands in waitlist
  • Were strongly affected by the numbers of speakers and emails

Some of the issues with the Planning Board are laid out in this 2022 letter to the editor.

So, it is critical that we turn out in force this coming Tuesday. Your expression of support can make all the difference convincing the Planning Board to report out support of the AHO Amendment.


Sign up to speak at Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting to share your strong support for the AHO amendments

If you are unable to speak at the meeting, please email a letter of strong support to the Planning Board -- [email protected] (cc the City Clerk -- [email protected] and City Council --[email protected] and bcc: us -- [email protected]).


See the ABC explainer and this op-ed by Council sponsors.

While we appear to have enough Councillors in support of the AHO amendments, we don’t want to have any Councillors who might be on the fence at all able to use a negative recommendation by the Planning Board as an excuse not to continue their support for passage. With your help, we can make sure that doesn’t happen!


You won’t want to miss the A Better Cambridge City Council Candidate Forum to learn about this year’s Cambridge City Council candidates and their plans to build more homes, create more affordable housing, and enhance tenant protections. 


When: Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Where: The Cambridge Foundry, 101 Rogers St, Cambridge, MA 02142 

Time: 6-8 pm

Remote watching will be an option, via Zoom (Register Here).

CCTV will film the Forum, and it will be broadcast several times later in September/October.

Moderator: Bill Boehm, Principal Architect, Boehm Architecture. Bill is a long-time ABC member and a newly appointed Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeals member.

As part of our mission to make city government more accessible, ABC is considering offering professional childcare at the forum. If you think you may make use of this service, please be sure to RSVP.


ABC Book Club

Please join us on September 9th at 2:00 PM at Bloc Cafe for a discussion of "Homelessness is a Housing Problem" by Gregg Colburn and Clayton Page Aldern to talk about what we learned, and if there are any lessons we can apply to our cities.

Abundant Housing Massachusetts Event

On Thursday, September 7th at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, ABC is co-sponsoring an event with Abundant Housing Massachusetts.  It will be a panel discussion called "Just Action: How to challenge housing segregation and build people-centered communities." The panel will feature Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law and new book Just Action, Dr. Karilyn Crockett, author of People Before Highways, and moderator Abdallah Fayyad of the Boston Globe. There will be a social hour starting at 6:30pm with food and beverages, and the panel will start at 7:30pm.  More info here.