by eila in Accessibility, Civic Action, Civil and Human Rights, Development and Zoning, Government Reform, Housing, Public Records / FOIA Requests
Posted on September 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm
Last Modified on October 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm
The City of Somerville updated its “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing” (known as the “AI”) between November 2009 and April, 2010 (although, the published report is dated December 2009, and the final report is digitally dated 8/26/11).
Today, a FOIA request was lodged via MuckRock to learn how four local nonprofits that are influential and instrumental in pushing affordable housing development to completion in Somerville, responded to that 2009 AI questionnaire.
Since 2006, this writer, a former Chair of the Disability Commission and founder of the Community Access Project, has been assertive in pushing the City of Somerville to update its Analysis of Impediments report (for instance, see page 3 of “Four Matters of Assets & Equity…”).
CAP’s response to Somerville’s 2009 AI questionnaire (our answers are in blue) and HUD’s Memorandum dated February 2007 emphasize the need to competently evaluate the housing needs of populations disproportionately experiencing poverty, substandard housing conditions, and eligible for wider housing opportunities in all aspects of public and private housing markets.
Unfortunately, the City’s current AI continues to imply that channeling the class known as “persons with disAbilities” into public housing is an acceptable and appropriate practice, considering the structural challenges of Somerville’s old housing stock. (see page 33)
The Community Access Project members have spent hundreds of volunteer hours researching, surveying and documenting the city’s development of affordable housing units over the past several years. Our final reports will be shared with the community.
above photo: The sidewalk and entrances were completely inaccessible and unusable during the City of Somerville’s Inclusionary Housing Programs Open House for six (6) affordable homeownership opportunities at 80 Webster Avenue, June 2009.
above photo: the only accessible entrance ramp and newly poured sidewalk for the City’s six (6) Inclusionary and Affordable Housing opportunities, at 80 Webster Ave., were not completed until September 2009- three full months after the Information, Application, and Open House events were held.