Hear About Funded Projects & How to Apply at Community Preservation Act Public Hearing

The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

SAVE THE DATE for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) Annual Public Hearing, hosted by the Community Preservation Committee (CPC). Watertown City Hall in the Lower Hearing Room, Thursday, June 27, 2024, at 7 p.m.

Or join remotely via Zoom: https://watertown-ma.zoom.us/j/91525442843. Don’t miss this event for your chance to:

Hear more about the recently funded CPA Projects. Find out about the next steps for the Old Burying Ground and Common Street Cemeteries and the Commander’s Mansion Cultural Landscape projects. Tell us about your open space, outdoor recreation, community housing, and historic preservation priorities.

LETTER: Watertown Housing Group Supports Proposed Watertown Square Area Plan

As advocates for housing availability and affordability in Watertown, we have closely followed the Watertown Square Area Plan process since its kickoff last Fall. Throughout the kitchen table conversations, online surveys, and countless community meetings that we’ve participated in, we’ve watched a plan emerge that manages to balance a wide range of perspectives. As a result, the core elements of the plan garner support from two-thirds of recent survey respondents. Supporting the Plan

While we believe that significantly more work needs to be done to address the housing crisis, this plan represents an important step toward allowing more housing in our city. We strongly urge all who support more housing, a more walkable and bikeable community, and a more vibrant downtown to attend this Thursday’s meeting at the Middle School and speak in support of it.

LETTER: A Resident’s Comments on Proposed Rezoning of Watertown Square

To the Editor:

I’ve been impressed by Manager George Proakis’ initiative, effort and community involvement process for the Watertown Square Area Redesign. In terms of the streetscape, it’s terrific that the manager is trying to create a plan that insists that our Square is first and foremost the center of our community, not just an intersection to drive through as quickly as possible. It is in terms of zoning that the draft plans have led to more disagreement. Unlike some municipalities, we are choosing to obey the new MBTA Communities law and join in the region-wide attempt to increase the supply of housing by changing the zoning in the Square. The need for more housing units at lower rents and/or purchase prices is clear.

OP-ED: Watertown Square Zoning Needs to Do More for Affordability

Just about everyone agrees on the need for more affordable housing in Watertown. It’s one of the biggest challenges faced by our neighbors today. Families can’t find space to grow, older residents can’t downsize, working- and middle-class families are being forced out. There isn’t enough housing overall — but, in particular, there isn’t nearly enough affordable housing. The Watertown Square redesign process offers an incredible opportunity to encourage more dedicated affordable homes in our city.

LETTER: Affordable Housing Critical to Watertown’s Fabric

I am writing as a local clergy person concerned with the fraying of the social fabric of the local communities. Over the past 6 years I have served as the pastor of the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church. During this time and over the past 29 years in pastoral ministry I have experienced the vital importance churches serve as community organizations. Churches have long been a place of worship for members and friends and free and affordable space for community life. In Watertown the former St.

Watertown Housing Authority Teams with Non-Profit to Revitalize the Willow Park Property

The Watertown Housing Authority will team with Preservation of Affordable Housing to renovate the Willow Park property. (Courtesy of the WHA)

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown. Housing Authority:

The Watertown Housing Authority (WHA) announced that it will be partnering with the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) to redevelop the Willow Park State Public Housing property located in East Watertown. The POAH team was selected earlier this month by the WHA’s Board of Commissioners and Selection Committee after reviewing the proposals. “I want to thank everyone on the pre-development team for their hard work.

OP-ED: When Bad Ideas Happen to Good Neighbors – The False Promise of Trickle-Down Rent Reduction

By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

STOP! If you think that those living in Watertown who are low or middle class are just a drag on our community, this is not the letter for you. But if you are committed to a diverse and thriving Watertown community, complete with small businesses and diversity of age, income, race, religion, language, etc., please read on. First, I’d like to take us to California, where this madness seems to have begun in this country, with a serious housing crunch. Then came the “solution,” building as many “market rate” (aka very expensive) apartments as possible.

Five Affordable Apartments Available in Watertown Square

The City of Watertown sent out the following announcement:

With the new 166 Main Street development expected to open in May 2024, the developer just launched marketing for the five affordable apartments. Two of the units will be rented to households with incomes at or below 65% of area median income and three units will be rented to households with incomes at or below 80% of area median income. There is an information session on March 19, an application deadline of April 16, and a lottery on April 30. See more detail about this development, as well as the application form. Please forward this email to anyone who might be interested, including any groups that include individuals that might qualify for the income thresholds for this affordable housing.