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News :: Gentrification : Race : Social Welfare
Black Lives Matter Protesters Chain Themselves to Cambridge City Hall
31 Aug 2016
The Boston Globe is reporting that four Black Lives Matter activists chained themselves to the front door of Cambridge City Hall early this morning to protest the city's lack of affordable housing. Read on for their demands.
We, Black Lives Matter Cambridge, firmly believe that housing is a right. Every person in the city of Cambridge should have access to affordable housing. Unfortunately, this is not our reality. Housing is not affordable in Cambridge and there is a lack of access to affordable housing. As a result, we’ve seen members of our communities move to surrounding towns such as Somerville, Everett, Malden etc. in search of more affordable housing. We’ve seen lists for Section 8 vouchers close and some units are still too expensive even with a voucher. We’ve seen beloved community businesses close up after being bought by developers. We’ve seen our elected officials accepting campaign donations from developers, while housing is still too expensive. This is not a reality we wish to live in. We are here to envision a different reality. We envision a world where all of our people are housed in homes fit for human beings. We envision a world where housing is stable and reliable. Thus, we demand the following: 1. Inclusionary Housing Program We demand that the City Council require market­rate residential developers, of more than 9 units, make at least 25% of the units affordable.

2. MIT Housing We demand MIT is given a permit that allows them to build housing for it’s 5,500 graduate and postgraduate students who live off campus. Housing for those MIT students opens up more units for existing housing and provide family­size units.

3. Use Free Land We demand that free land, such as parking lots and other city properties, are not sold to private developers but are used to build affordable housing and develop public spaces.

4. Establish a Rent to Own Program We demand that a Rent to Own program is established in Cambridge. We believe that there needs to be a better and more defined pathway to homeownership for low income Cantabrigians.

We are also calling on the Cambridge City Councillors to sign a pledge to follow through with these demands. And as always, we affirm that Black lives matter. Historically and to this day, Black people have been victims of housing discrimination. The fight for affordable housing is part of the fight for Black liberation.

In the struggle, BLM Cambridge
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