, Salem, MA


May 2, 2014

Letter: Gateway Cities program a disservice to those in need


I get the idea of their newest plan to build market rate housing in Gateway cities, then give subsidized vouchers for lower-income families to live there. Yes, this keeps properties on the municipal tax base at market value. But, it also continues to promote segregation because it steers our less-fortunate families into our less-fortunate cities. I’m betting no vouchers will be handed out for market-rate housing in Marblehead.

Wake up Massachusetts. The Federal Fair Housing law requires that all people be afforded equal opportunity to live in communities with strong public services. And, the definition of public services doesn’t just mean transportation, as the Statehouse chooses to misinterpret the law. It means schools. And it means that affordable housing and vouchers have to be made equally available in our leafy suburbs. Our legislators should stop institutionalizing their long-standing practice of housing segregation through the Gateway Cities program…lest they open themselves up to a well-deserved judicial review.

Jennifer Firth


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