ABC April 2021 News: MMH at Planning Board, Cambridge RISE, Affordable Housing & more

(Sent April 27th, 2021.) The Planning Board will resume its review of the ABC/Sunrise Missing Middle Housing petition on Tuesday, May 11 at 6:30. The MMH working group is developing a series of potential amendments to the petition, in response to concerns from Councilors and CDD, which may be released soon.

It’s not clear whether this hearing continuation will include time for live public comment (most effective!) but email comments received by 5:00 pm on May 10 will reach the Board members before the meeting. The meeting link will be posted a day or so in advance. 

In other news…

  • An exciting pilot project offering unrestricted financial help to 120 single-caretaker households in Cambridge will begin in June. Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon and Councilor Marc McGovern have organized Cambridge RISE, which will provide a $500 recurring monthly payment during the 18-month project, with funding from many local agencies, non-profits,  companies and individuals.
  • Last night, the City Council continued discussion of the Mothers Out Front Green Roofs Petition. The Council partly changed direction on an earlier amendment that included a more flexible and practical solar energy option, but the amendment to exempt Affordable Housing has been retained. The Council is expected to pass this zoning change next Monday.
  • ABC has joined Abundant Housing Massachusetts! This group aims to connect and support  local pro-housing organizations, and ABC will be represented on their steering committee. Through AHMA, we can participate in statewide actions, promoting policies leading to more inclusive, sustainable housing development. 
  • Affordable Housing Overlay: In just six months after its passage, three 100% affordable projects (over 320 new units!) are being developed as-of-right. They are currently in the design and community review stage. Please join your local community meetings in support of this important housing.
  • Portions of First and Second Streets are being studied in connection with the redevelopment of the CambridgeSide mall to include housing, office and R&D space, in addition to retail. Redesign of those buildings is expected to open up space along the streets for transportation improvements and amenities. You can advocate for safe, car-free transportation through the City’s survey of people (from anywhere) who travel in that area.