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Council Ignores Housing at Firehouse

The report of the sale and proposed conversion of the Firehouse on Main Street near Kendall Square [“Old Firehouse to Make Way for Inn,” February 15] was accurate and welcome. But the outrageous context of the sale was omitted.

Last fall the Cambridge City Council declared a housing emergency in Cambridge, as if no one had noticed. Most city councillors stated goals as increasing “affordable housing,” whatever that means. At the January 24th Council meeting the City Manager stated that the firehouse site was not appropriate for housing. He did not explain why it is suitable for a hotel (transient housing) yet not suitable for low-cost permanent housing. The City Manager’s own study stated that up to 31 units of housing could be constructed on the site. Yet at the Council meeting he stated only 7 units would fit.

The method used to vote to approve the sale was less than an direct operation. It was done during the discussion of a controversial petition. Few observers were aware of the proposed sale as it was voted on, as their attention lied elsewhere. None of the area press reports (The Tech was the only area media outlet to report it at all) recognized the sale as contrary to public policy stated individually and collectively by the City Council itself. This is an abomination and typical of how elected officials say one thing and do the opposite.

Roy Bercaw
Watch Enough Room
Cambridge Community Television