Janey, Revere Mayor Clash Over Mass. & Cass Plans


Photo: Karyn Regal

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio)— Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey released a statement Wednesday in response to a letter from Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo criticizing her plan to use a hotel in Revere to house 30 homeless individuals from Boston.

Janey's statement described a plan created by the Boston Public Health Commission and Eliot Community Human Services where 30 people experiencing homelessness would get temporary housing in Revere. The statement said Arrigo and his team had cooperated with both the BPHC and the ECHS over the past three weeks.

In a letter sent on Tuesday to the BPHC's executive director Bisola Ojikutu obtained by the Boston Globe and the Revere Journal, Arrigo took a strong opposition to these plans. Arrigo criticized the BPHC for a lack of communication about the plan and how many people would be housed at the hotel, according to the Boston Globe.

In Janey's response, she explained that since "well over 60 percent" of the people served for substance abuse in Boston come from outside the city, they need communities outside of the city to help with treatment and care.

"We need to stand up together to support our friends, family members and neighbors battling substance use disorder," Janey wrote. "I want to thank all the cities and towns who have already done so, and I hope Revere is willing to join that list."

This debate emerged after as the situation at Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard in Boston, also known as Mass. and Cass, worsened due to the pandemic. The area houses many people experiencing homelessness and substance addiction living in tents.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@karynregal) went to Mass. and Cass Wednesday to observe the situation and talk to those working on scene.

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