Cambridge has everything to gain from the Affordable Housing Overlay

L: You don’t need to study the graph long to see that Housing is THE main concern for residents. That’s why the Community Development Department proposed the Overlay. (R: part of their infographic.)
Cambridge Affordable housing is beautiful — six examples of nonprofit Homeowners Rehab’s recent projects.
The Overlay allows 4-story buildings in 3-story zones (yellow), the max 7 stories in medium zones (green), and compliance with district standards if the building exceeds 80 feet in zones where that’s allowed (purple).
Examples of nonconforming buildings in Mid-Cambridge. They look great! More examples here.
L: A law suit delayed this project near the Central T-stop by three years, and reduced the number of units by two. R: The Overlay’s design process is robust.
Cambridge’s redlined map that categorized neighborhoods in part based on how many black residents lived there. RED = “hazardous” | YELLOW = “definitely declining” | BLUE = “still desirable” | GREEN = “best.”
Today’s map of where affordable units exist. DARKER = more; WHITE = none.
Diversity and density scores are low in richer areas such as Avon Hill, Agassiz, West Cambridge and Cambridge Highlands in this chart from the City’s 2019 statistical profile.
This slide shows how much less Cambridge residents commute by car (BLUE) than people outside of the City.
Again, Boston Area car use (BLUE) averages 60%. In Cambridge, it’s just over 25%.
The largest source of transportation pollution is from passenger cars.
The Overlay will not force developers to build parking spaces for most projects, helping to reduce residents’ incentives to rely on cars.
Cambridge has become considerably richer and less income-diverse over the past twenty years.

A Better Cambridge Action Fund

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Our mission is to elect pro-housing candidates in Cambridge and beyond. If you like what we have to say, subscribe: abettercambridgeaf.org/subscribe.

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