The Chelsea Housing Authority has put out Requests for Proposals to have a private developer partner with the redevelopment of the Central Ave. and Walnut St. housing complexes.
Both of these projects were built decades ago – Central Ave. in the 1950’s and Walnut St. in the early 1960’s – when the times, and their primary need, were very different.
Today, these housing developments need an upgrade.
The idea of partnering with a private developer has worked well in Columbia Point where more rental units were added, creating a neighborhood of mixed incomes as opposed to being just low-income families. In Charlestown, officials have started the process of a private firm redeveloping the Bunker Hill complex by keeping the 1,100 existing low-income units and adding an additional 1,600 mixed-income units.
The role of government has changed in the last decade. The need for private and public dollars working together has generated a better life for all the residents of our nation.
We are not suggesting that all questions and concerns by residents and city officials should be ignored. The viewpoints of current residents certainly must be considered.
However, we believe that this is an interesting proposal and we agree with Housing Authority Board Chair Tom Standish’s comment, “This is the wave of the future.”