How You Can Help Lyman Terrace
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD HAS BEEN EXTENDED
ANOTHER TWELVE DAYS UNTIL 4pm 3/23/2012.
A vital community.
As some of you may have heard, the Holyoke Housing Authority is planning to demolish Lyman Terrace through a HUD program called Demolition Disposition.
There are many reasons we should be organizing in opposition to this:
1. The land will be sold to private developers, NOT used to rehouse those displaced (privatization of public land).
2. Lyman Terrace is historical, it is the fifth oldest housing project in the US, the oldest one still in use. It has fall out shelters. Factory workers at the mills used to live here. It is a piece of Proletariat history that shouldn’t be undervalued. For some historical background see here.
3. The relocation plan found in City Hall was woefully inadequate and said there would be no additional section 8 vouchers to help relocate “displacees”.
4. Tenants have been inadequately informed about this plan. Many have been told that they would be guaranteed section 8 vouchers. There is no guarantee.
5. There does not exist a realistic study as to the cost-benefit of demolishing, disposing of property and relocating tenants versus maintaining Lyman Terrace. The plan appears to have one and only one purpose: To rid Holyoke of near 200 families and shift the burden from Holyoke Housing Authority to the state.
6. The Holyoke Housing Authority is planning on using the manipulative “cash for keys” (one time $5250.00) method to motivate and strip tenants of their legal rights to fight eviction in court by having them sign them away for cash.
7. The lack of section 8 vouchers, lack of secion 8 vacancies and the status of the displaced tenants (housing discrimination based on race, employment, disability, credit viability) will land a large number of the folks in hotel shelters or worse, homeless.
8. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors concerning the state of these structures. In a recent city council public commentary a developer and private housing manager weighed in with stories of much older and larger buildings in Holyoke that have been restored after decades of neglect and vacancy as a testament to the viability of Lyman Terrace – especially since there have been some recent improvements, repairs, new roofs. Visual inspection of a number of units show well functioning homes. What has not been repaired falls on the Holyoke Housing Authority’s neglect since their plan has been for some time to get rid of their ”problem”. With over $1.5 million budgeted to demolish (probably not near enough to do so) why not initiate a plan to restore these units one by one while seeking other grants to continue over time? Or, a myriad of other options rather than demolish and leave an empty lot? Holyoke has plenty of empty lots.
————– HOW YOU CAN HELP LYMAN TERRACE ————–
3/7/2012 is the last date to submit public comment to the Office of Community Development.
PLEASE SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT!
Public comments must pertain to 3 topics:
1. Historical significance of the buildings.
2. Failures in the Displacement-relocation plan.
3. Did the Holyoke Housing Authority publicize the plan Adequately?
Mail or hand deliver the Office of Community Development:
City of Holyoke
Office for Community Development
City Hall Annex Room 400
Holyoke, MA 01040
fax to: 413-322-5611
or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
More general comments can also be sent directly to HUD (same deadline):
Office of Public Housing Dep. of HUD
Thomas P. O’Neil Jr. Federal Building
10 Causeway St 3rd floor
Boston MA 0222-1092
or email at: email@example.com
It is most important that you contact the Office of Community Development and HUD but it does not need to stop there. You can also cc: or send your comments to the mayor:
Mayor Alex Morse: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-322-5510
You can also cc: or send your comments to your city councilor, find yours here on the Holyoke City website.