Smart Development to Reduce Displacement.
We are faced with a housing crisis that threatens the vibrant, diverse fabric that we love about our community. Our friends and neighbors are being displaced as housing costs rise precipitously in Cambridge. As we add more and more luxury housing, the rents keep going up, and at this rate, eventually only the very rich and subsidized poor will be able to live in Cambridge. Like climate change, housing is a systemic issue that needs to be addressed at its root cause. As an experienced advocate for systemic change, I am well positioned to advocate for these necessary changes on the council.
In 2015, the city raised linkage fees from $4.58 to $12 per square foot of new development (escalating to $15 per square foot by September 2018). This update was long overdue and sorely needed. However, the Nexus study and feasibility assessment that was done at the time actually found that the city could go as high as $24.30 per square foot. Accordingly, Cambridge should set the linkage fees on an escalating schedule to eventually reach $24.30 per square foot, which would generate millions in additional funding for affordable housing in Cambridge.