Our Opinions

BRA under intense scrutiny and it should be

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is currently under intense scrutiny following the release of an independent audit which apparently uncovered several structural components that are in need of reform.

Reportedly, among the problems identified were the lack of integration between the BRA and Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC), and a BRA that is frequently perceived as less efficient, responsive and accountable to the public.

For the most part, the North End/Waterfront community has raised opposition or asked for some changes to many projects targeted for construction in their neighborhood.

The community’s batting average dealing with the BRA is extremely low with the BRA stealing home too many times.

A public hearing to identify mechanisms to ensure transparency, accountability and investment in affordable housing has been called by Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley to get the facts clear and on the table for everyone to see.

In her order, the Councilor noted that the BRA is tasked with ensuring developers are maintaining their commitments to mitigation agreements, making payments to the inclusionary development program and payments to the housing and jobs linkage funds.

However, the audit indicated the BRA’s inability to complete this task efficiently and transparently, revealing that the BRA has negotiated breaks on affordable housing fees to other uses and has spent a fraction of the money it has collected from developers that had been earmarked for affordable housing.

With the cost of living zooming in the North End, some affordable housing is needed to keep some longtime residents in the North End.

Currently, the waiting list for affordable housing in the North End can stretch all the way to City Hall.

City Councilor Tito Jackson criticized the shoddy bookkeeping and enforcement displayed by the BRA in the past.

An agency reconstruction is in order to ensure economic development and planning occurs in a fair and transparent process and continues to serve the best interest of the city residents.


Donations help NEMPAC provide art services to neighborhood

North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC), a non-profit organization that serves the North End/Waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods, relies on individual and business donations, grants and gifts to support operational costs and the many programs they provide.

NEMPAC’s mission is to provide affordable quality arts-related programming to residents since 2007 the organization has done a terrific job.

Besides the numerous programs offered by NEMPAC, they take part in many community concerts and other events. They also partner with the Eliot and St. John Schools for in-school and after school musical programming and much more.

Both residents and the business community should help support this organization which is recognized as a highly distinguished music and performing arts center.

For more details call 617-227-2270 or email [email protected].

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