Mercantile Wharf tenants turned out in force at the Mayor’s Coffee Hour, held at Columbus Park, to express concerns relating to the FY 2019 $3.3 billion-dollar budget that did not include, for the third year in a row, a $5 million pilot City Rent Subsidy Program.
The City Rent Subsidy Program, proposed by a broad coalition of 30 housing and community groups and ten City Councilors, would provide “Housing First” rent subsidies tied to the new or existing housing to get homeless people off the streets and to protect older tenants in “13A” buildings like Mercantile Wharf facing 300 percent rent hikes.
Other “13A” tenants in the system have joined the cause to save their homes.
The groups along with the City Subsidy Coalition are calling for Mayor Martin Walsh to propose or file a supplemental budget request for at least $5 million dollars for the program to provide homes for Boston residents experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
The Mayor is being urged to earmark the new property tax revenues from luxury condos like Millennium Tower and One Dalton.
Proponents claim, “The 10.9 million paid each year by Millennium Tower owners alone is enough to fund 1,000 permanently affordable low-income apartments to get homeless people off the streets and protect tenants in buildings like Mercantile Wharf who are at risk of losing their homes.”