Posted by: catdg | April 9, 2011

Revere Community Committee Minutes; March 23, 2011

Present: Ann Houston, Kitty Bowman, Orlando Jaquez, Danielle Farinato, Tom Ke, Samnang Khoeun, Carol Tye, Techrosette Leng, Richie Leng, Nancy Barile, Cat Dodson Goodrich

The Revere Community Committee:

  • Provides direction and guidance to Revere board members
  • Informs RND Real Estate, Resident Asset Development, and Community Engagement work in Revere
  • Gives input to CRND governance model development
  • Commissions task forces to address pressing neighborhood priorities as needed

1)      Welcome and Introductions

2)      Review of last meeting outcomes:

  1. New CND Board representatives from Revere: Orlando Jaquez and Techrosette Leng
  2. Meeting schedule confirmed (every 2 months, fourth Wednesday of the month)
  3. RND Blog – https://revereneighbors.wordpress.com

3)      Danielle Farinato was unanimously confirmed as the new chair of the committee

4)      Report RND work in Revere:

  1. a. Real Estate
    1. i. 14-16 Nahant is completed except for the front steps and landscaping.  There is collateral funding of about $20,000 included in the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative $ CND has received that could be used to invest in other neighborhood improvements.  This could go toward façade improvements on adjacent properties, or to install cameras, lights, and renovations on the park on Shirley Ave.
    2. ii. The fire station is about to go into construction, with abatement of lead and other hazardous materials starting in May.  Received word that Community Development Block Grant funds could go towards helping finish this property.
    3. iii. 525 Beach Street, currently an empty warehouse, is another property we are looking at.
      1. 1. CND should connect with Laurie Holmes about the Sun/Boston Community Capital work to do foreclosure interventions – we were going to share our foreclosure tracking with them.
      2. 2. The property across the street was damaged by a fire.  Is it possible for the project to expand?  Is it a good location for elderly housing?
      3. iv. Neighborhood stabilization strategy – Our research shows that if you are able to improve and stabilize 20% of the properties on a street, then it has a collateral impact on the rest of the properties, so that they also begin to stabilize and make improvements.  Therefore, we focus our investment on key nodes and streets, so that we can leverage our work for greatest neighborhood impact.  That said, our work is limited by very challenging funding constraints and complexities, as well as very lengthy timelines – work happening now on the properties we do own began several years ago.  It usually takes about 18 months to get developments through the funding application process.
        1. 1. What streets are most highly trafficked in the neighborhood?
          1. a. Beach Street, North Shore Road, Shirley Ave, Centennial Road to Campbell Ave.  A real problem area is Thorton Street – a lot of crime, disrepair, foreclosures.
          2. b. Housing Authority tenants live with a lot of disrepair – those properties are falling apart.
        2. The city of Revere keeps telling us that we need to focus on elderly housing.  Most of the people taking advantage of our VITA site are elderly.  The latest census data says that 40% of Revere’s population is over 55.  Is this the committee’s experience?
          1. People thought that there is also a crying need for housing for families with young children and teens.  They are very transient right now because it’s hard to find affordable apartments.
          2. There are teens living in the shelter at the Town Line Motel.  This is a situation we should be working to address.
          3. The Housing Authority already provides resources and works with elderly population to find affordable apartments.
          4. How does the increasing Latino population impact the age shift?
          5. So – it was suggested that in the Fall, we consider studying demographics and housing needs through neighborhood surveys.  We should also consider what the impact of building elderly or family housing might be – would we be meeting an existing need, or encouraging new groups to move to Revere?
        3. What’s changing in Revere?
          1. People in their 20-30’s are leaving.
          2. Muslim population is increasing.
          3. There’s a wave of revitalization – people want to stay!
          4. Criminal activity threatens to increase this spring and summer because of the economic downturn, and younger kids growing up.
      4. v.      Other Prospects
        1. 60 and 90 Revere Beach Boulevard – people are not in favor of what’s currently proposed for that site (13 stories would shade the whole beach!).  Senior housing would be more politically expedient.
        2. Corner of Shirley and Walden – currently a meat packing factory.  We’re considering a commercial property on the first floor and family housing above.  What kind of businesses would be good?  Restaurant!!
      5. vi.      KaBOOM! Park – CND has been invited to apply to build a new or renovate an existing park in Revere with the organization KaBOOM!  They partner a corporate sponsor with nonprofit and community groups to build parks in one single workday.  They provide support and leadership to engage the community in the design process and build day.  It’s a great opportunity, and we are submitting two applications:
        1. A new build of a 3000 ft2 park at the end of a street.  It was observed that the location proposed by the city might be too out of the way, and a magnet for criminal activity and late-night loitering.  A surrounding neighborhood helps build stewardship of the park!
        2. Renovating Costa Park on Shirley Ave.  Bright lights and cameras would really help keep trouble at bay during warmer months, and a basketball hoop would be an improvement too.  NSP money could be invested here.
        3. We are seeking signatures and letters of support, as well as community partners to help!  Meeting participants signed a letter, and Richie Leng offered to write his own.  Kitty Bowman suggested that Revere CARES could write one, and that the Food Fitness Task Force (Kate Blackford is the contact there) would be a natural partner, as they are developing an adopt a park program.
  2. Resident Asset Development continues to promote VITA and has filled hundreds of returns in Revere.  There’s a huge increase of participation this year, thanks to the good work committee members have done to get the word out.  Thank you!
  3. Community Engagement is working to hire a full-time Revere community organizer.  Spread the word!

6) Next Meeting will be Wednesday, May 25 at Revere CARES at 6:15!

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