Mayors Build Habitat House To Kick Off Boston Meeting
By Eugene T. Lowe
July 12, 2004
On June 25, the first morning of the 72nd Annual Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors in Boston, more than 20 mayors donned carpenter tool belts and hard hats to help construct the frame of one Habitat house and build on another nearly completed unit in the Blue Hill Place community. The build took place at 350 Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester.
The "Habitat House the Mayors Built" has become an annual event at the opening of the Conference Annual Meeting. The event serves as a rallying point for mayors to join Habitat for Humanity and explore innovative projects in affordable housing while working alongside Habitat partner families in the construction of their homes. The Cohen family worked with the mayors to build their new home.
The homes were built on a site burned during the 1968 riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and left vacant for over 30 years. When completed, the 1.2 acre site will consist of 22 single family units and include 32 off-parking spaces, a neighborhood plaza, and a children's playground.
Participants in the event included Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino; Conference President Hempstead (NY) Mayor James A. Garner; Roy Bernardi, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Nic Restinas, Director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies; Dwight Robinson, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Relations of Freddie Mac; and, Bruce Percelay, President of the Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Boston. Tom Jones, Vice President of Habitat for Humanity, International presided during a brief ceremony before the final wall raising of the event.
Freddie Mac served as underwriter of the "Habitat House the Mayors Built" and sponsored the construction of one of the houses.