The Predevelopment of the Redevelopment Takes Linden/Chambers from Concept to Schematics


   - NEEDHAM, MA    On Wednesday October 11, 2023 1:30 PM,  an audience of 25 residents and friends of public housing heard a watered down version of the Update made by the NHA for the Planning Board Meeting - Tuesday October 3, 2023.

The residents, on Wednesday, listened to how the original concepts needed to be adjusted for cost savings, in order to make the project happen at all.  The architects seemed enthused to explain how increasing the housing unit density and going from three to four stories were good things.  And that reducing the ceiling height, the floor area of the individual apartments, and the number of elevators were all schematic improvements. 

It's just very difficult to offer schematics with less open space, fewer amenities, and more problems than when originally developed in a concept phase, two months before.  People still have not absorbed the concept nor the schematics around windows engineered to not open, more than four inches.  Private open outdoor space for individual housing units is the appropriate post-pandemic response, not closed off isolated, indoor spaces without direct access to fresh air and daylight.

A draft outline of a Relocation plan was shown and discussed.

When a tenant today is moved in or out, its often because of the demands of maintenance, such as, dealing with black mold.  One might think this would be the perfect opportunity to implement an open and transparent set of transfer and relocation practices.   Under current promises and understandings, at least one tenant, named John, was temporarily relocated, while the floor of his Linden Street apartment was restored to normal quality health standards.   The temporarily displaced tenant was offered a hotel room, while the work was going on, which sounds like an adventure, until you start thinking about how and what you want to move wherever.  No, he moved to a vacant unit near his old apartment with the expectation of moving back.  It was convenient for everyone.  John, however, has been denied his right to return, as described in the above hypothetical Relocation Agreement.

Tenants, who have been successful, in moving, as they feel they want or need, seem have the best legal counsel, an inside connection, or an advocate in the social service system.  John has none of those, so everything is fine.

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