Friday, October 15, 2010

Question # 2 on the November Ballot - Catholics Should Vote "No"

A YES vote repeals the 40B statute.
A  NO vote keeps  the status quo on the 40B statute.

Here's essentially how 40 B works:

Under the existing law, the ZBA holds a public hearing on the application and considers the recommendations of local agencies and officials. The ZBA may grant a comprehensive permit that may include conditions or requirements concerning the height, site plan, size, shape, or building materials of the housing. Persons aggrieved by the ZBA’s decision to grant a permit may appeal it to a court. If the ZBA denies the permit or grants it with conditions or requirements that make the housing uneconomic to build or to operate, the applicant may appeal to the state Housing Appeals Committee (HAC).
A ZBA’s decision is “consistent with local needs” if it applies requirements that are reasonable in view of the regional need for low- and moderate-income housing and the number of low-income persons in the city or town, as well as the need to protect health and safety, promote better site and building design, and preserve open space, if those requirements are applied as equally as possible to both subsidized and unsubsidized housing. Requirements are considered “consistent with local needs” if more than 10% of the city or town’s housing units are low- or moderate-income units or if such units are on sites making up at least 1.5% of the total private land zoned for residential, commercial, or industrial use in the city or town. 

People in favor of repealing 40B may have some legitimate complaints.  They claim there is corruption.  This may be true.   Wherever you have town and city government, bids and construction - there is room for cronyism, corruption and pig fests.      But most of the time, the real objections of the people are about aesthetics and taxes.

Affordable housing projects bring families into town whose children will need to go to our schools.   The families may need services that deal with the consequences of poverty.     It may decrease our property values  and increase our taxes.  It may affect traffic patterns or impact our routines in other ways.

But, it gives numerous families clean, decent housing in towns where their children have access to decent school systems - away from crime and violence in a ghetto.

This is where the rubber meets the road in social justice.


Anonymous said...

I would describe what is happening in Framingham which definitely does have more than 10% low income housing, but if I described what SMOC(South Middlesex Opportunity Council) has done to the town members including many of the Selectmen,Town Meeting members, ordinary citizens, I could be sued just like they have been sued! Their emails have been used as evidence that they have said anything negative about SMOC and no one in Framingham is allowed to say anything that might be interpreted as negative by Jim Cuddy who is the very well paid CEO of SMOC. Just hope this doesn't happen in your town!! There are two sides to Question #2 depending upon what has been happening in some towns and cities!

Anonymous said...

But there are problems with 40B. Affordability is a relative term, and in the wealthy suburbs, what qualifies as "affordable" is still prohibitively expensive for a family of modest means. Also, housing units built under 40B will revert to the market after a number of years. 40B sounds like a noble undertaking, but it really does boil down to a bonanza for developers who use it to override the objections of long-standing residents. And objections based on aesthetics are not unreasonable -- these projects are often eyesores.

Jack O'Malley said...

Render unto Caesar means that Caesar skims the vig. The corporal works of mercy have nothing to do with the secular "Commonwealth" and its coercive confiscations..

Vote Yes!

No Catholic should render a shekel unto Caesar, especially one of the "Democratic" party and its socialist apparatchiks.

If you truly believe in "Catholic social justice" then take a poor family into your house. For the long term. Educate their children. Send them to BC.

Oh, wait. They have bad DNA? Can't read, write, do arithmetic? BC won't accept them on a full scholarship to major in sociology? Not even theology? Unless they can play basketball?

Let the BC crypto-episcopalians suck up to the protestant and masonic enemies of the Faith. Let them sink into the Tophet in the Lord's good time!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous ...

How many orphans has Hehir in his household? Erickson? The unordained Connors? The unordained McDonough? The unordained Kaneb? That Cosa Nostra of a corrupted Catholic Archdiocese!

Bejasus, I'd bet O'Malley (Deo sint gratiae, nec consanguinitatis nec affinitatis!) has no widows or orphans sharing his cardinalitial apartments in the cathedral quarters.

Lord Jesus, what hypocrites are your temporal servants! How, seeing your believers, to blame those that doubt in You?

Carol McKinley said...

Thanks for all these interesting comments. I know 40B has problems. Let's face it. Even Habitat for Humanity gets push back and that is only one family here and there.


A great number of these families have serious problems - parents are alcoholics or dysfunctional in other ways and the children are acting out - etc. We can't take them into our homes because taking in drunks or druggies or dysfunction poisons the atmosphere of a home and would drag our own children down. Our own children are our primary responsibility to society. Sometimes people get into a mode where they step over the dung in their own families, relationships, home, to lending a helping hand in the public square. These folks made bad choices and some of them will continue to make bad choices. If parents continue to make bad choices, we hope to offer the next generation some hope they can pull out of it. A good mother would never bring in people making bad choices and dysfunction to upset the equilibrium of her own children.

Further, taking dysfunctional people into our own homes becomes another way to enable them rather than giving them a chance to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.