How do you raise the standard of living in the poorest neighborhoods in the country?
That’s what community developers, typically nonprofits that build and finance affordable housing, have tried to do over the last few decades. And yet, despite more than $100 billion going into affordable housing and commercial projects every year, many of these communities remain stuck in poverty. A big part of the problem is a lack of cash, specifically the kind of private investment that attracts new residents and jobs.
Terri Englen and her husband Joseph, both 68, know what it’s like to live in tough neighborhoods. For more than four decades, the couple has lived in Chelsea, Massachusetts, right across the harbor from Boston. The location drew them there, close enough for the working couple to get to and from their jobs.
But for years their neighborhood, about eight square blocks, stood out for all the wrong reasons. Abandoned …