Another Site Option for Habitat for Humanity Homes
Friday, August 27, 2010 • 11:02am
I would like to comment on the controversy concerning 39 Morris Avenue, otherwise known as the Habitat for Humanity project. The City has decided to move a beautiful brick ranch that blends in with the flavor of the neighborhood, to squeeze in a six unit monstro "city".
The press has led the public to believe that this project is welcome with open arms, and it is by a majority of the community, except for the residents who live in the immediate vicinity. One would think that their opinions/opposition would be of the utmost importance, but sadly they are not. It is the people "up on the hill" who make the decision for East Summit, and not those immediately affected by the decision to build six affordable housing units in our neighborhood.
A petition has begun, to this point with 120 signatures accounted for. When questioned about the city's intentions, the residents had little or no knowledge concerning this project. Their responses were:" What are they, crazy?", and "Sure, they put everything in East Summit."
As an East Summit resident for 35 years, I would have to agree. Everything gets dumped here. The City of Summit first has an obligation to its current residents who live in the immediate area. We pay our taxes, as does all of the city, but it seems as though our voices are speaking to deaf ears.
The city has led the public to believe that this project is necessary, and affordable to its taxpayers. Can Summit afford this? I would say no. There is talk of losing state aid, budget cuts, and merging of services with other towns. While in reality, this project is not a good idea, and is not necessary to satisfy the state's COAH requirements.
At a January 20, 2009 meeting, a resident from Prospect Street presented Common Council with a 66 person petition in favor of the Habitat for Humanity project. Not one of the signers of that petition, nor Common Council, have any idea of the impact that this housing will have on the immediate area -- the traffic volume, the burden on the schools, and the safety of the current residents. The site for Habitat for Humanity should be considered in another neighborhood, on Lenox, Rotary, Essex, or Colt, perhaps. How quickly those residents would oppose low-income housing in their neighborhood!
We do not need this housing, nor do the majority of residents in East Summit desire to have this housing in their neighborhood.