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The John Hancock Insurance Company appeared as a possible aid to the solution of the local housing problem yesterday with the announcement that it had submitted a preliminary application to Cambridge for approval of a project to be known as "John Harvard Town."

At present, with the project still in the "planning stage," nothing is known of plans other than the fact that the Company has under consideration the plot of ground bounded by Mount Auburn Street, Putnam and Western Avenues, and Memorial Drive.

As outlined by the John Hancock officials yesterday, the preliminary application means that "John Hancock is interested in studying the need for Housing at Cambridge, and if all goes well on the issues of zoning and planning will take the second plunge into Greater Boston Housing operations."

The first "plunge" is a development now under construction at the site of Brookline's wold Golf Course. Designed to house 1,000 families on completion. "Hancock Village" will be made up of single family houses, as opposed to the projected "John Harvard Town" which officials said would probably he a multiple housing unit development.

In addition to these two ventures into the field of housing John Hancock officials disclosed, the Company is also studying other districts in Greater Boston to determine their suitability for similar plans.

The intention which the company has in mind, they said, is to establish a possible chain of investment buildings, while at the same time helping to meet the demands of average American families for "permanent, post-war homes."

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