Corcoran, Residents Sign Letters of Assurance for Return

In a move to show that they are committed to
keeping residents in their homes, the Corcoran company and Chelsea Housing
Authority (CHA) have been signing Letters of Assurance with residents to
legally ensure they can return to their unit after it is redeveloped into a new
mixed-income community.

“We started signing those with residents
about two weeks ago,” said CHA Director Al Ewing. “We wanted everyone to see
that there is a commitment from us.”

Added Sean McReynolds of Corcoran, “It was
important for us the residents see we’re committed to having them return. That
is something that is usually done much further down the line. We wanted to do
it now anyway so people felt confident that commitment is there.”

Melissa Booth of the Innes Residents
Association (IRA) said many residents are relieved by the Letter, and the
Association has been passing it around in English and Spanish to get as many
residents signed as possible.

“They’re very relieved because the suspicion
is the developers would go in and move the families and not let them back in,”
she said. “We’ve been working really hard and trying to reassure everyone. No
one wants to leave the place that they’ve been living so long.”

The document, signed by all parties, is

about three pages long and clearly spells out what the residents will be
entitled to when they return.

“JJC Co. and CHA assure that all Innes
residents who are required to move for the redevelopment project will have the
right to return to a newly constructed unit in the redeveloped Innes
Apartments,” read the letter.

The two exceptions are if a household has
been evicted before returning for serious offense, or if they have a large unit
and state rules require them to go into a smaller unit than is available.

Also, it spells out that they will have the
same units as the market rate residents.

“These newly constructed affordable housing
units will be intermixed with market-rate units,” it read. “All units will be
interchangeable with the same quality in all apartments including finishes and
appliances such as washers and dryers.”

Both said they
hope to have everyone signed as soon as possible as an act of good faith to
residents and the community.

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Corcoran, Residents Sign Letters of Assurance for Return

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