A community with more mix than match

Many neighbors have been touting the benefits of an economically diverse community instead of the segregated Charlesview that Harvard, Charlesview, and the BRA. They want to shelter the rich in a tower overlooking the Charles and isolated the poor in apartments next to the Star Market parking lot. We think people from all walks of life can and should live together harmoniously.

A summer community with more mix than match - The Boston Globe

In this op-ed, Renee Loth describes the summer community of Little Neck in Ipswich which has

"achieved a delicate economic mix that is rare anyplace, much less in an enclave of oceanfront property. Sure, there’s a smattering of doctors and lawyers (and the odd journalist), but some of my favorite people on the Neck include a prison guard, a locksmith, a retired nurse with seven children, and a generous, savvy guy who installs coin-operated Laundromats."
If it can work on a North Shore peninsula, can't it work in Brighton?


  1. "a prison guard, a locksmith, a retired nurse with seven children, and a generous, savvy guy who installs coin-operated Laundromats"

    It works, because typically, this is not the kind of demographic cross section of people who reside in publicly subsidised housing(unfortunately). I support most of your ideas about a more diversified community, but I often doubt that if such community were to be built, that the "market rate" units would actually attract market rate buyers. The economic reality might be quite different from the assumed one...peace.

  2. I think that everyone is missing the point. First of all, Charlesview actually is an economically diverse community already. Second, has anyone bothered to ask the residents of CV what they want? From what I've read and seen it seems that they want to stay together. The last, and most important thing here is that the people of CV get the new homes that they so desperately need. The sooner that happens the better.

  3. Nick,

    I am more interested in what is proposed for the new Charlesview than what is in the current Charlesview. The proposal is for 77% of the Brighton Mills apartments to be restricted to people making less than 50% of the area median income. Do you think that is diverse?

    Second, the ABNNF (Allston Brighton North Neighbors Forum) and BRA (Boston Redevelopment Authority) have provided Charlesview residents with ample opportunity explain what they want. There have been dozens of public meetings and the BRA had a public comment period for written input last year. The Charlesview residents have, in general, been pretty silent throughout.

    What does it mean if they "want to stay together"? Nobody is proposing to scatter them across the city. They don't all live in the same building today, and if it is a 3 or 5 minute walk from one corner of the new Charlesview to the opposite corner, do you think that is a problem?

    Finally, me and many of my neighbors would love to see a new Charlesview built sooner rather than later. It's not like we are trying to preserve Harvard's abandoned shopping center. But wanting something to happen soon doesn't mean that we should ignore decades of research that can help us build a stronger and more stable community for the benefit of everyone who live here.

    More than a year ago the ABNNF invited the Charlesview Board and their developer to meet with us and try to constructively find mutual agreement. They told us that they didn't want to do that. Our invitation to them is still open.