An example of the work done by City Life/Vida Urbana. This is a City Council hearing on "just cause" evictions. Credit: City Life/Vida Urbana
On Tuesday the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council voted 10-1 to recommend grants totaling $150,000 to two JP organizations. The money comes from the mitigation fund from the Boston Residential Group, developers of Olmsted Place Apartments at 161A South Huntington Ave. City Life/Vida Urbana would receive $145,000 for its two-year "Health Through Housing Justice" program along the Washington Street corridor; $5,000 would be given to to the Fund for Boston Parks and Recreation on behalf of the Jamaica Pond Association for improvements to Jamaica Pond.
Santo Anibal Ramirez, owner of Anibal Color Studio, talking about closing his business due to the rise in rent. Credit: "Ain't No One Can Afford This"
People pour their sweat and souls into things they believe are worth their time. Helen "Homefries" Matthews, a Jamaica Plain resident of 13 years, dedicates her time to "Ain't No One Can Afford This," a public video project that will share the stories of JP residents and business owners who have been or are being priced out. I sat with Homefries for about two hours in Café Bartlett Square. As she spoke about her community and its residents, I saw the fervor in her eyes with which she is diving into this video project full-fledged.
City Realty is evicting Santo Ramírez from Anibal Color Studio, the business he's run at 3154 Washington St. for the last six years. On Tuesday, he and other business tenants took to the streets to protest what they say is their new landlord's heavy hand. "We depend on our business to survive," Ramírez told Jamaica Plain News after the rally. He and other business owners said City Realty has tried to jack up their rents and hasn't been a good community partner since they bought two Egleston Square buildings at auction in April.