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Velucci Comes to Tenant's Aid; Gruson Reiterates Housing Plan


At an otherwise placid City Council meeting last night dealing primarily with the Cambridge housing problem, Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci got another chance to play his favorite role of people's protector with the customary gusto.

Following a moving account by Patricia Dunwoody, resident of an eight-family apartment building at 210 Columbia Street, relating how her heat and hallway electricity had been turned off following a rent-control hearing yesterday, Vellucci stood up abruptly, called a five-minute recess, and returned with the news that the heat and electricity would be turned on immediately.

Dunwoody said last night that her landlord allegedly presented false evidence-in the form of unpaid bills masquerading as paid bills-at a hearing before City Rent Control administrator William J. Corkery to convince him that a rent increase was indeed in order.

Voice of Harvard

The Council also heard Harvard's assistant to the President for Community Affairs Edward S. Gruson relate Harvard's plans for low- and moderate-income housing in the area. "We have a commitment to build 520 units of low- and moderate-income housing-these units will be built at the Mt. Auburn-Putnam, Howard Street, Blair Pond and Prospect Street sites," he said.

The plans have received a great deal of publicity in the past year, although only one, the Mt. Auburn Street project for the elderly, is presently under construction.

Bricks and Mortar

Walter Milne, M. I. T.'s equivalent to Gruson, said that M. I. T. plans to build over 1600 units of housing over the next few years. To this, as to Gruson before him, Vellucci leaned forward and said, "Well... so far I don't see too much going on. I want to see bricks and mortar. Bricks and mortar, you hear."

The Council also passed a new budget which totals exactly $45,393,096.86. This represents an increase of about $5 million over last year's budget, and an increase of $15 on the tax rate, which is currently $109.60 per thousand.

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