Progressive Newton Organizing for Housing

Our chapters work on Progressive Mass’s state-wide priorities (legislation, campaigns, elections), such as Raise Up Mass, but they also organize locally around the issues important in their communities. We know that our strength comes from this energy and activism that comes straight from the citizen volunteers, and we want to share their work with you!

First up: Progressive Newton’s tenacious fight for the Austin Street project, as part of creating a welcoming community for all and pushing back against increasingly unaffordable housing in their city. Take a look, with this update from Prog. Newton member, Robert Fitzpatrick.

austinstreet.jpgProgressive Newton strongly supports the Austin Street project, a proposed four-story building with retail space and 68 apartments in the city-owned Austin Street parking lot in the heart of Newtonville’s village center.

The Austin Street location is ideal for an apartment building: right on the commuter and bus lines and within easy walking distance of a supermarket, plus dozens of shops and restaurants.

It is exactly the kind of sustainable development Newton needs, especially now as soaring housing prices are putting our city out of reach for many.

For Newton to remain a welcoming and economically diverse community, we need affordable housing and a variety of housing options.

The proposal’s 17 apartments reserved for households between 65 and 80 percent of AMI are essential, but even the 51 market-rate apartments (without which no developer would be willing to undertake the project) boost rental supply, relieving pressure on rapidly rising rents in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, the proposal has given rise to well-organized opposition featuring an ugly strain of NIMBYism. Progressive Newton rejects this vision of “Fortress Newton,” where nothing can ever change and only the most affluent are welcome here. Rather, we support the project as both necessary and desirable.

We are making our voices heard to local government and spreading the word to fellow residents about the project – and what it means for our city’s identity and future.

To help, contact us at (617) 340-9527 or


Current view of Austin Street and its parking lot. 


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