Councilors Lederman, Gomez, Hurst to Co-Chair Hearing on Housing in Springfield
City Councilors are leading the charge to spark a renewed conversation around the status of housing and neighborhoods in Springfield by planning a Hearing to solicit input on steps the city should take to strengthen neighborhoods, reduce blight, and ensure the housing needs of all residents are adequately met. City Council President Justin Hurst, Ward 1 Councilor Adam Gomez, and At-Large Councilor Jesse Lederman will convene a joint hearing of the Council’s Economic Development and Health and Human Services Committee’s on Thursday, March 14 at 5:30 PM. The Hearing will take place at Rebecca Johnson School and is open to the public.
Testimony will be solicited from city department heads, neighborhood and community organizations, state officials, state organizations, housing experts, and residents. Councilors say the conversation is important to ensure access to housing as well as revitalize city neighborhoods. The Councilors plan for the hearing to include discussion on current market conditions, affordability, vacancy rates, barriers to housing, access to homeownership for first time buyers, challenges facing low and middle-income homeowners, and municipal response to chronic code violators that contribute to blight. “Because the many issues that pertain to housing are so complex and multifaceted, it is extremely important that the City Council is well informed prior to taking any action,” said Council President Justin Hurst, “I look forward to listening to the testimony of the stakeholders involved and using the information gleaned from the hearing to guide us as we move forward.”
“There are many developments being proposed in the City of Springfield, and we have great partners that believe in creating more homes for working class people,” said Councilor Adam Gomez, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, “While I support market rate housing we have to be honest that housing disparities still exist. As rents rise and wages continue to stagnate, we should be exploring how to integrate mixed use developments that fit more towards the regular everyday renter and potential homeowner to maintain equity.”
“Addressing issues around housing is foundational to maintaining and building strong neighborhoods and increasing quality of life for residents,” said Councilor Jesse Lederman, Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee “Whether it is new development, renovation of existing housing stock, or addressing issues of blight as it relates to housing, we should be seeking out innovative best practices and planning for the future.” For more information contact the City Council Office at 413-787-6170.