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Harvard Renews Decision Not to Buy Local Land

By Nicole Seligman

The University has renewed its commitment to the Cambridge community not to purchase residential property outside designated boundaries until at least 1980.

The decision, announced in a report to be released today, signed by Charles U. Daly, vice-president for government and community affairs, that updates a 1972 study outlining Harvard's responsibilities to the community, duplicates with only minor changes a 1972 decision.

The new report also indicates that Harvard has, as promised, maintained zero growth in the number of graduate students on the main campus to avoid overburdening local housing.

It also states that the University has provided housing for the increased number of undergraduates, through renovation of Currier and South Houses, construction of Canaday Hall and increased allocation in on-campus housing.

Surplus Housing

In its 1972 report, the Office of Government and Community Affairs also announced Harvard's intention of divesting itself of residential property not essential to its own needs, giving priority to tenants and other people interested in owner-occupancy.

Forty such surplus units in Cambridge and Boston have been identified to date, and have been or are being offered for sale, according to the report. Another 100 units are being studied for possible sale.

In addition, the 53-page report discusses Harvard's shelving of the Cambridge Corporation, an independent organization operating on a $600,000 joint grant from Harvard and MIT, which was to assume a hands-off policy as developer of housing projects and act as an adviser in selling decisions.

The corporation has been abandoned, according to the report, because of widespread uncertainty regarding the need for further subsidized housing and the drying up of government support. It has been replaced by the joint Harvard-MIT economic planning office, established in 1959.

Daly, who will resign in July ending a five-year stint in the community affairs office, cites in the conclusion to his report as the problems that remain for Harvard and the community the further improvement of the Cambridge schools and reduction in their cost; strengthening the Cambridge police; and examining the structure, effectiveness and cost of the city government.

The main body of the report identifies the major concern of the community affairs office, such as housing, traffic and parking, economic development and medical needs, and discussed the progress in each of these areas since the 1972 statement.

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