I’m always mixed about projects like this:
The Old Colony public housing development, an icon of the old South Boston, is undergoing a dramatic facelift, and officials celebrated completion Tuesday of the first phase of the redevelopment, including a large new apartment building, a learning center with a library branch, and rows of three-story townhouses that Councilor Bill Linehan said “look like they should be in a seaside resort.’’
On the one hand, public housing has been a mess for a long time and anything that improves its conditions is a good thing. Also, mixed housing is better than a concentration of poverty. On the other hand, these redevelopments always seem to have a common denominator–they have less affordable housing:
“But times are changing for the better,’’ said Nick Collins, a state representative from the neighborhood. “It’s less dense, there’s more space, and the quality of life is going to drastically improve on day one.’’
Phase one includes 116 new affordable rental units, which replace 164 distressed units that were leveled along Columbia Road and Old Colony Avenue.
I’m sure this is great for the people who get the new units, but what happens to all the others who are trying to get into housing they can actually afford?