Four residents will serve as community representatives on a panel that will oversee allocations of funding from a tax surcharge for affordable housing, historic preservation, and green space. The city council approved the four in early December, tapping individuals from Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale.
Selected from more than 100 applicants, they will join five other members of the committee who will representing city agencies. The nine are tasked with overseeing the timeline, budget, and work on projects that will be receiving Community Preservation Act (CPA) outlays.
Officials expect that the law, which voters approved in 2016, will generate up to $20 million annually through a one percent property tax surcharge, which took effect last July, and matching state funds.
All four council-approved representatives highlighted their interests in affordable housing, diversity in development, the value of historic structures, and access to open space.
Madeligne Tena, 28, is married to a Boston Public Schools teacher and lives in Dorchester with him and their three-year-old son. In her application letter to the city council, Tena said she has lived in a handful of neighborhoods and has seen the city “evolve; experiencing all the perks and the challenges this city has to offer as a “doubled up” or homeless individual, as a renter, as a housing advocate, and as a recent homeowner/landlord.”
She recently purchased her first home through the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America program and sees herself as providing a vital millennial viewpoint as so many of her peers struggle with housing.
Directing CPA funds is a flexible process, she said, as long as at least 10 percent goes to each category, adding, “I would personally love to see the funds used creatively and applied in ways that enhance the quality of life in underserved neighborhoods.”
Tena is joined by Ying Wang, a lifelong Bostonian, daughter of immigrants, and a lawyer at State Street Corp.; urban farmer Kannan Thiruvengadam, who has lived in Boston for 20 years; and Matthew Kiefer, a real estate development lawyer with a track record of working with non-profit organizations on their facilities planning and development.