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LETTERS

She has battled homelessness, and she’s a housing case manager

Housing activists held a rally in Central Square in East Boston in December 2019 and then marched to the Meridian Street Bridge, where they unfurled a banner calling for 50 percent of the housing at Suffolk Downs to be affordable.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Governor Baker’s Housing Choice bill (“Letting towns solve the Mass. housing shortage,” Editorial, Feb. 19) will help towns enact housing reform by implementing a simple majority vote for zoning decisions, but for people like me and thousands of others, nothing is simple. There is nothing simple about realizing you are homeless after just graduating college. There is nothing simple about having a $70,000 college loan debt hanging over your head while being expected to come up with more than $4,000 for startup costs for an apartment smaller than the dorm you just left.

Ironically, though I work as a housing case manager at Metro Housing Boston, I myself have battled homelessness for the last nine years, often resorting to nights in the driver’s seat of my car. Those who fall into the low- and extremely-low-income brackets are either relocated to suburban communities or risk losing their vouchers when project-based buildings are bought and sold like pieces on a Monopoly board.

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I agree with the Globe’s editorial that zoning laws will not cure all of Massachusetts’ housing woes. And as the housing crisis continues to worsen, particularly for families I work with every day, focus on our neighbors with very low incomes needs to remain a priority.

Sarah Duffy

Medford

Editor’s note: This letter previously appeared on the Metro Housing Boston website.