One Charlestown? Yes, Please

My name is Mimi Tovar and for 27 years I have lived in the Bunker Hill Apartments (BHA) or “projects” as it is also referred to. I, along with many other residents of the BHA have been negatively impacted by the crumbling infrastructure of the projects and for many of us, living here has caused many health problems – including anxiety, fear, anti-social behavior, asthma, depression – and much more. But it’s all we can afford.

As we are all aware, Boston is changing and growing. As a result, many low-income families have been relocated because they can no longer afford to stay in their homes – and been pushed out by developers. However, One Charlestown is different. Corcoran-SunCal has made a commitment to residents here. They want to keep current residents and invite new ones, because they understand that a thriving and enriching community is found in diversity. The team has been considerate and involved from day one, seeking opinions and input on the project. They have seen, with their own eyes, the horrid conditions we live in, and they want to change that – for us and for Charlestown. I fully support the redevelopment project and cannot wait until I can finally call it home. And many of my neighbors feel the same way.

One Charlestown will be better for all of Charlestown, not just BHA residents. ‘One Charlestown’ breaks down barriers of class and income, and will help everyone get to know each other as people, and come together as a community.

We’re looking forward to finally raising our children in a safe and united community. A place that we don’t have to worry about letting our kids play outside because of exposure to used needles or what lies in our hallways. We don’t want to fear the next overflow of sewerage water because of old plumbing or worry about mold creeping in our walls because of poor ventilation – while waiting six months to get hot water. We no longer want to be prisoners in our own homes and we don’t want to continue to be pushed aside because we live in the projects.

Like everyone else, we want what is best for our children, for them to live productive and safe lives. One Charlestown will give our children a fighting chance because they will no longer have the stigma of being rejected or judged because of the location they live in. Our children will no longer be known as just the “project kids” and that will open doors for them.

We are eager to be part of the Charlestown community. We believe this is what we have waited for, for many generations. So it is with arms wide open that I welcome, support and encourage the rebuilding of our lives through this new redevelopment project of One Charlestown.

Mimi Tovar is Founder of and a resident of the Bunker Hill Apartments

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