Coalition of housing advocates blasts ‘new BRA’ effort

A group of leaders that includes civil rights champion and former mayoral candidate Mel King issued a tough rebuke of Mayor Marty Walsh and his administration’s re-boot of the Boston Redevelopment Authority in a letter issued Tuesday.

King, joined by 12 other self-described “housing and homeless advocates” called on Walsh to disband the city planning and redevelopment agency. They instead called for the election of resident boards in urban renewal zones and “all Boston neighborhoods.”

“Without an elected body from the neighborhoods” stated King,” Tent City would never have been built. Instead of the award-winning, mixed-income housing we have there today, we would have had a giant parking lot at that location."

Other signatories to the letter included former City Councillor Chuck Turner, frequent BRA critic Shirley Kressel, Bishop Filipe Teixeira, and Reverend Vernon Walker.

“The BRA process as a whole is inconsistent with the interests of the people”, King said.

“Instead of the wrecking ball of the 50s and 60s, the modern day BRA is allowing for Boston to be bulldozed by private capital flowing into the City from all over the globe,” the letter reads in part.