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letters | A DIVIDE OVER DEVELOPMENT

Blocking Jamaica Plain project won’t prevent rising rents

 A plan to redevelop the former site of the Home for Little Wanderers on South Huntington Avenue with housing units has encountered opposition in Jamaica Plain.

TAMIR KALIFA FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE/FILE 2012

A plan to redevelop the former site of the Home for Little Wanderers on South Huntington Avenue with housing units has encountered opposition in Jamaica Plain.

RE “MORE identity politics in Jamaica Plain” (Op-ed, Oct. 30): As head of the carpenters union, I have supported the proposed project at the Home for Little Wanderers that Paul McMorrow describes in his column on Jamaica Plain development, primarily for the jobs the project will bring.

As a longtime JP resident, I understand concerns about the impact on the neighborhood.

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At a time when there is little federal or state funding for affordable housing, the perception is that more market-rate units could alter the character of the community.

But blocking the project will not stop the arrival of new renters. On the contrary, JP has become a popular place to live, and if there is no increase in the housing stock, the pressure on rents will escalate even more rapidly, diminishing the already-limited number of affordable units.

At least this project would provide 30 new affordable units while expanding the overall supply of rental apartments.

Mark Erlich

Jamaica Plain

The writer is executive secretary-treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

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