One tenant is struggling to afford her new apartment. Another said the stress of moving led to an injury at work, and now he’s homeless and couch surfing. A third tenant found an affordable place, but he won’t give up the fight to save his neighbors from gentrification.
“The housing crisis is very real. I think there’s kind of this esoteric idea of what the housing crisis looks like, and all of us in the school department see it every day. We see it every day with students who don’t have a reliable place to stay at night.” — Margaret Silva, housing specialist for New Bedford schools
“It’s sort of ironic that today, landlords and property management companies use all sorts of systems like tenant screenings to learn all sorts of data about tenants. And yet tenants don’t even know the names of their own landlords.” — Erin McElroy, UT Austin professor.
The HOME Group said it plans to coordinate with several agencies that specialize in housing and legal aid — organizations like PACE, New Bedford Housing Authority, and South Coastal Counties Legal Services.
“Had we been told they were selling the building, that would have given us time to look … To sell it and say you have 30 days to get out — come on, that’s ridiculous.” — Retired teacher and cartoonist Joe Quigley
Joe Quigley, 72 and a resident of 189-193 Elm St., is one of more than a dozen tenants told after the apartment building he is living in was sold that he had to move out. He said he thinks developers are getting ready to welcome a wave of Bostonians.
New Bedford City Councilor Shane Burgo, who chairs the Affordable Housing and Homeless Affairs Committee, said “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs) wouldn’t solve the city’s housing shortage, but he thinks they could put a dent in it.
“People are going where they can afford to live. … But unfortunately, that puts the people who could barely afford to live in New Bedford in a tough spot — there’s nowhere else to go.” — Joshua Amaral of PACE
“It’s about living in gratitude, and I think that’s the No. 1 thing that I’ve learned in my experience here, is to live in gratitude, even during the dark times.”
Adriana’s experience of getting “squeezed out” of the housing market due to surges in rent is happening to others in New Bedford and the South Coast, as housing advocates and community leaders seek solutions to the region’s housing crisis.