Guest Op-Ed: Governor Baker’s visit is another big win for City of Everett

By Deanna Deveney, Esq.

While Governor Charlie Baker’s visit to Everett earlier this month was partially to tout the state’s Commonwealth Builder Initiative, we view it as another victory in Mayor DeMaria’s quest to provide affordable housing opportunities to all Everett residents.

As Baker and other state officials toured the St. Therese property, it was evident that they were impressed with the progress and scope of the project.  The Mayor is proud to be able to transform this once-prominent community gathering place into a space that will continue to serve the needs of Everett.

As one of the first projects to be part of the Commonwealth Builder Initiative, the city will once again become a model for neighboring communities, leading the way to make real change in the racial wealth gap and the ability to own a home in a gateway community like Everett.

Even before the pandemic, the lack of housing opportunities, particularly affordable ones, was a real challenge in Everett, but the pandemic only amplified the need for more housing and further highlighted the racial and wealth disparities in the city. 

As The Neighborhood Developers Director of Real Estate Development Steve Laferriere stated at the press conference, the St. Therese project is a “small step towards dismantling the racial wealth gap by offering families the opportunity to become homeowners. At the same time, we are also ensuring seniors can afford to age in place here.”

Another innovative aspect to the St. Therese project is the addition of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, which will provide all-inclusive care to for the elderly, servicing not just those who live there, but all senior residents of Everett. As EBNHC CEO Manny Lopes said, bringing services to where people live is crucial to the future of health care delivery and to serving our most vulnerable population, which was again underscored by the global pandemic. 

The St. Therese project broke ground in late 2020 and is slated to be completed in 2022, with applications opening as early as spring of 2022. For continued updates on the project, visit https://theneighborhooddevelopers.org/st-therese.

With the additional funding proposed by the Baker-Polito administration and their focus on connecting more families with homeownership opportunities and the chance to build long-term wealth, we sincerely believe that the St. Therese project will be the first of many groundbreakings in affordable housing developments here in Everett. 

Deanna Deveney, Esq.

is the Director of

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