letters | a fight over housing in Jamaica Plain

Even as families struggle to find housing, activists block new units

PAUL MCMORROW’S June 19 column (“Class politics aggravate Jamaica Plain housing woes,” Op-ed) aptly points out that Boston’s tight housing market is very much a supply-and-demand equation. Demand for limited supply generates high rents and a competitive condo market. Rather than engage in a conversation about solutions to ensure a vibrant, economically mixed neighborhood, including affordable housing, a handful of people who’d prefer sections of Jamaica Plain rot are hijacking the process.

That group includes individuals, claiming to represent thousands of residents, who filed suit against the Home for Little Wanderers project developer and the City of Boston. Though the judge dismissed the lawsuit, indicating they had no standing, they are now appealing the case. Sadly, and most importantly, this ludicrous effort is denying the Home for Little Wanderers millions of dollars from the final sale of their property, as well as denying Jamaica Plain the very affordable housing that these individuals claim to be promoting — despite the developer surpassing the city’s minimum affordable housing requirement, keeping the units on site, and subsidizing the costs.

They are also repudiating a green, transit-oriented, tax-producing development on a formerly tax-exempt site. It’s distressing that the obstructionist behavior of a few can negate all of the positive gains that have been made when the community works together.

Rick Stockwood

Jamaica Plain