By Ling-Mei Wong
The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services held a public meeting for Chinatown residents on June 24 at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School. City representatives responded to residents’ questions regarding public safety and affordable housing.
Resident Dan-Shum Chan spoke about a recent crime that took place at her home, the South Cove Plaza East apartment complex for seniors. The front door had smashed glass, and nightclub patrons left litter and made noise late at night.
Jerome Smith, director of Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, said he would speak to the Boston Police Department about safety and work with the Licensing Board to address the issue of nightclubs and their unruly patrons.
A Temple Place resident reported public urination on MBTA trains and asked city officials to monitor homeless individuals. “There’s a spike in homelessness in Downtown Crossing; we’re working closely with the police downtown and the Department of Mental Health, as many homeless individuals have issues,” said Department of Neighborhood Development director Sheila Dillon. “If you see anything that makes you scared or uncomfortable, please call the police.”
Simon Ho, JQES principal, reported more traffic near the school, which is beside Quincy Tower senior public housing and is holding summer classes for students. “Our custodian is picking up needles and cleaning up graffiti,” he said.
Smith advised residents to call the Mayor’s hotline at (617) 635-4500 or to use the Citizens Connect app on smartphones. Once a report is logged, drug needles will be picked up by Boston’s Emergency Medical Services.
Trash pickup has been reduced to Mondays and Fridays, with no more trash pickup on Wednesdays, after July 1. Chinatown has a low recycling rate, which the city is trying to boost, said a representative from the Inspectional Services department.
Several residents spoke about the need for more affordable housing in the Chinatown neighborhood. Tai Tung Village resident Henry Yee said, “There are thousands of luxury units, but only about 200 affordable units built in recent years. I’m afraid about rising rents as housing prices increase, which forces people out.”
Dillon cited progress on affordable housing projects, such as 10 Oxford Place, One Greenway and Hong Lok House. “Compared to other neighborhoods, Chinatown is an affordable neighborhood,” she said. “We need to build more affordable housing to keep Chinatown a neighborhood and not just a place to eat.”
This post is also available in: Chinese