Action Alert: Two important hearings tonight that could impact the future of affordable housing in Cambridge

Tonight the Cambridge Planning Board and the City Council’s Ordinance Committee are both holding important meetings that I wanted to make you aware of and encourage you to attend or to submit your comments via email:

Ordinance Committee - Tuesday, July 14th at 5:30pm at City Hall

The City Council is considering a long-overdue increase in the “Incentive Zoning Ordinance” that requires large commercial developers in Cambridge to contribute to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The proposal currently before the council would increase the fee annually over the next three years from $10 to $12 per square foot of development, with the requirement for a new study to examine the impact of the fee in three years. A Better Cambridge supports this proposal and agrees with the author of a recent study commissioned by the City which indicates greater increases in the fee would hamper commercial development and result in less money overall for the affordable housing trust fund.

Please contact the Ordinance Committee by emailing [email protected] with a copy to the city clerk at [email protected].


Planning Board - Tuesday, July 14th at 7:00pm at City Hall Annex (344 Broadway, 2nd Floor)

The Planning Board is currently reviewing proposed zoning for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe site in Kendall Square. The Federal Government has indicated their plans to select a developer to rebuild the DOT building, and add additional uses (i.e., residential, commercial, or open space) on this large site. A Better Cambridge supports rezoning the site to encourage a vibrant, mixed use development with a particular emphasis on affordable low- and middle-income housing. As we recently saw with the the Mass & Main zoning in Central Square, substantial increases in density and height are necessary to achieve the greatest amount of affordable, family housing. ABC encourages the Planning Board to adopt zoning with density and height allowances necessary to create a greater percentage of affordable housing.

Please contact the Planning Board by emailing [email protected] who will pass your comments on to the board members.