Council Applauds Rindge Ave. Purchase

Politicians and Cambridge residents celebrated the purchase of the 237-unit 402 Rindge Ave. apartment building by the 402 Rindge Corp. before the Cambridge City Council meeting Monday night.

The corporation is a subsidiary of Just-A-Start Corp., a non-profit company that has guaranteed no new rent increases for the next two years and has assured long term afford-ability for the low-and moderate-income tenants of the building.

The purchase, finalized Jan. 24, was made possible by a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"You are people who recognize that housing is not simply a commodity," said Massachusetts State Sen. Thomas F. Birmingham '72 (D-Chelsea) to those in attendance. "Housing is too fundamental a commodity to be treated simply as a property right."

The building was among a number of expiring-use buildings that lost their rent-control status as a result of the 1994 state referendum abolishing rent protections.

Just-A-Start has been involved in affordable housing for the past 30 years and next hopes to purchase an apartment building located at 808 Memorial Drive.

"We are definitely looking forward in the future to helping others" in similar situations, said Frances Haywood, president of the 402 Rindge Ave. Tenants Association.

The apartment building is located near the Alewife T station.