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City Council, MIT agree on homeless site

Cambridge City Council agreed unanimously Monday night to accept MIT's "agreement in principle" to build a facility at 240 Albany Street for the homeless. The agreement anticipates completing the details over the next week and bringing the proposal to City Council for action next Monday. If enacted, the agreement will complete successfully a 19-year quest for such a facility for the Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation (CASPAR). The CASPAR shelter has been housed in temporary trailers on MIT's land at 240 Albany Street since 1979.The nine City Councilors acted on a letter from Ronald P. Suduiko, Assistant to the President. The text of the letter follows:

"On behalf of President Charles M. Vest, I am happy to propose the following basic principles which I hope will serve as the foundation of the final resolution of the CASPAR siting process.

"MIT, in collaboration with CASPAR, will design and construct a facility for CASPAR's Emergency Services Shelter on its current site at 240 Albany Street. The facility and its site would be leased to CASPAR for $1 a year under a 20-year renewable lease arrangement.

"* The City will transfer ownership of Amherst Street (west) to MIT.

"* MIT will lease Carleton Street from the City with an accompanying easement for a combination of 2 bridges and/or tunnels.

"* MIT will lease Hayward Street from the City with an accompanying easement for either a bridge or a tunnel, a pedestrian walkway, and closing of the street.

"* MIT will lease the sidewalks on Vassar Street from the City with an accompanying easement for site improvements and a bikeway. The effective date of the easement will be determined in a mutually acceptable agreement.

"We look forward to completing our work with the City, CASPAR, and Siting Committee for action on March 1, 1993.

A version of this article appeared in the February 24, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 23).

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