Residents' Group Will March Here
A group of residents from the predominantly black Riverside area of Cambridge is planning to meet with University officials this afternoon to demand that Harvard set aside its Treeland site near Peabody Terrace for construction of a low-income housing project.
The residents will assemble in Riverside at 5 p.m. and march to Harvard Yard where they will attempt to meet with President Pusey at 5:45 p.m.
The residents will also demand that Harvard lease one-third of Peabody Terrace's 500 apartments to low-income families until 150 units are built on the adjacent lot.
The group will attempt to get a response from Pusey and the rest of the Corporation whom they have already contacted by registered mail, resident spokesmen said yesterday. The Corporation will meet this morning in its Massachusetts Hall offices.
"If they don't give us any kind of commitment. we're prepared to take further action," said Sandra Graham, president of the Riverside Planning Team, which is organizing the delegation of residents.
"We're not looking for a confrontation. We're not looking for a fight. We're looking for housing," said Mary Amato, another of the group's organizers.
Other spokesmen stated that the residents would vote today on a proposal to stage an indefinite "tent-in" in the Tercentenary Theatre if the University did not accept their demands.
Residents of Riverside, which borders on Peabody Terrace and Mather House, have charged that Harvard has been lax in easing the area's shortage of low-income housing. "They haven't been responsible to the community at all," Mrs. Graham said.
The University has made definite plans to build 94 low-income units on Putnam Ave, and will probably begin leasing these units in a year's time. Edward S. Gruson, assistant to President Pusey for Community Affairs, declined yesterday tocomment on Harvard's plans for the Treeland site.
Gruson said that he had "neither seen nor heard of" the residents'letter to Pusey, but that he has agreed to meet with them today. He received the demands from resident spokesman last week.
Gruron added that he would not comment on the demands until after today's meeting.