Cambridge City Manager James L. Sullivan announced yesterday the formation of a special task force on housing to formulate a coordinated attack on the critical shortage of low income housing in Cambridge. The task force is made up of representatives of all city agencies concerned with housing, including representatives of Harvard and M.I.T.
The task force has already held two meetings and Sullivan asked it to try and come up with a comprehensive two-year housing plan by September 1. "Sites for construction of low rent housing will be the primary subject of the task force," Sullivan said. "Unless we can formulate a decision at the staff level we can't really go and present the public with any kind of plan," he added.
Sullivan explained that he has had a good response from representatives of Harvard and M.I.T. who have come to the two meetings so far. The Harvard representative on the task force is Harold L. Goyette, a University Planning Officer.
Sullivan's announcement came during a City Council meeting last night at which members of several city agencies concerned with housing exchanged charges and insults over possible sites for low cost housing. Controversy centered over planning of the Wellington-Harrington housing project, designed to build 56 low-rent housing units on the site of the old Wellington School.
Robert F. Rowland, Executive director of the Cambridge Redevelopment Agency, testified that the city is "well on the way" towards constructing the units which will have one-to-three bedrooms and will cost from $100-$120 per month. Rowland said that because many city agencies are involved in the project and many discussions with various groups still have to take place, it is indefinite as to how soon the project will be completed.
Frank Cameran, president of the Donnelly Field Planning team, one of the neighborhood groups concerned with the Wellington-Harrington project, charged that the Redevelopment Agency has not been responsive to neighborhood needs.
"The units the CRA has decided to build." Cameran said, "Will cost around $175 a month, not $100-$120 as they said. We all know these will be for students and NASA people. Apparently the CRA has already negotiated for a developer and we in the neighborhood don't even know what the plan is."
Councillor Alfred E. Vellucci suggested four additional sites for construction of housing: the so-called "13 golden acres" they often assume it must be right." She cited this as one reason why faculty and administration vetoes were necessary.
Miss Stanely said that in handling the ROTC issue, the University showed that it "operates in the interests of wealthy businessmen." She explained that the power of the University lies with the Corporation which is "a group of wealthy businessmen."
After the discussion, Mrs. Bunting said that she had hoped to hear more about the governing of the University. The girls said they were generally pleased. "It gave us an opportunity to make our views on ROTC clear," one of them said