April & May 2022 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes April 4 and May 2, 2022


  • Greetings & introductions         
  • Police Report
  • Habitat for Humanity in Boston
  • Rep. Nika Elugardo, candidate for MA Senate
  • Updates
  • List of issues for discussion with Boston Transportation Dept.

Police Report

Sgt. Dougherty and Officer Martinez gave us the Police Report.  Some of the incidents discussed include:

– 3 business burglaries on 4/28; 2 that seem connected were on Green St., 1 was at the McDonald’s in Egleston Square (people tried to enter as staff was closing up; staff was able to stop the entry).

– Shooting at 66 West Walnut Park 4/12 – one person died, one will recover.  There is an intense ongoing investigation.

 – There was an arrest in the shooting death that occurred last September in the Square.

Officers are also busy in the Square with sick assists and medical support.

Habitat for Humanity in Boston

At our April meeting, we heard from Jim Kostaras, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston.

Jim told us Habitat has 1200 chapters across the U.S.  Their core mission is to provide opportunity for homeownership and to empower families.  To achieve that goal, they rely on 3 things:  the commitment of volunteers, contributions from fundraising, and working with the community.

In Boston, Habitat builds multifamily homes, not single families.  The units tend to be large (3-4 bedrooms), targeting families with children.  The houses are built to net zero passive house standards, so are energy efficient and green.  Houses are designed to fit into the surrounding neighborhood, and include landscaping. 

Families purchasing a Habitat home are required to contribute 300 hours of sweat equity, to take a class on homeownership, and to be employed. Habitat requires 0% as a down payment, and holds the mortgage; Habitat continues to provide support to homeowners even after sale.  The units are deed restricted, so will retain affordability over time.

Currently Habitat is building homes on Parker St. in Mission Hill, Norfolk St. in Dorchester, and Walter St. in Roslindale.

Jim’s presentation is online at ESNA’s webpage at https://esna4all.org/meetings/

Rep. Nika Elugardo, candidate for MA Senate

At our May meeting, Rep. Elugardo attended to talk about her work as a State Representative and as a candidate for State Senate.  Her husband Marcos also attended.   Nika told us she and her husband have lived in this area for 25 years.  She is a lawyer and has a long resume in local and state policy work.  She currently represents about half of Jamaica Plain, as well as Mission Hill and Roslindale; as a Senator, she would be adding four more neighborhoods. She currently serves on the House Ways & Means and the Joint Committee on Housing. 

She is proud of her record of collaborating with fellow legislators and cosponsoring legislation. She believes in bringing all the community voices together to find solutions.  She has worked to bring increased funds for housing, affordable housing, youth support, small businesses, mental health in early childhood, and resources for those coming out of incarceration. 

Housing Committee Update

– 71 Walnut Park – This project to divide the house into 8 units was dropped by the owner, City Realty.  The property appears to be up for sale – a for sale sign has been posted for months in the front yard.

– 57 Brookside Ave. – The Committee supported the owner’s request to add to the second-floor loft space, with little change to the exterior.

– 7-9 Westminster Terrace – Committee members attended the City-led public meeting seeking feedback on use of two lots currently owned by the BPDA. The Committee sent a comment supporting construction of affordable homeownership housing on that site. The BPDA plans to prepare a draft Request for Proposals, and will share that publicly when it is written.

– Egleston Square Branch Library – The Committee submitted written support for a stand-alone library, and was informed that the Library Study Team requested a budget for a $25.3 million for a new stand-alone library.  This budget request now goes to the Mayor and City Council. 

Parks Update

Flaherty Park (corner of Cornwall & Brookside) redesign continues, with the next community meeting scheduled for

May 19.  Project web page:


Franklin Park Action Plan Update Meeting – May 17

All meetings are posted on the website; community feedback will continue to be taken.


From Rep Malia’s office

Mike Rogers attended our May meeting and informed us that Rep. Malia was able to obtain earmark funding in the amount of $300,000 for Dimock Health Center and Community Servings.  Thank you to Rep. Malia!

List of Issues for Discussion with Boston Transportation Department

At our May meeting, we discussed issues arising with the new bus lane and with traffic in general.  Egleston Square Redesign is an active program of the Boston Transportation Department; William Moose from BTD is in good contact with ESNA and has offered to come out and give an update.  We would like to collect a list of questions/concerns ahead of that meeting.  Some of the things on our list:

– Reckless drivers using bus lane

– Distance between crosswalks and lights cause confusion

– More parking than expected was lost

– Designated parking for handicapped needed near St. Mary of the Angels

– Traffic backing up on Washington in both directions

Next ESNA Meeting is Monday, 6/6/22 at 6:30 pm.

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