Springfield Republican, Oct. 21, 1973
A tenant union leader praised the record of public housing in Massachusetts and attacked federal policy on the poor Saturday .in a speech at American International College.
Speaking at the end of an all-day convention of the Massachusetts U n i 0 n of Public Housing Tenants, Jack Plunkett, executive director, said recent disturbances i n Boston should not influence the public against housing programs.
Recent incidents have brought racial tensions to housing projects in the Dorchester section of Boston.
“People see the problems in some housing projects, not the good things. Housing for the elderly has been a tremendous success all over the nation.” Plunkett said, noting the elderly housing on Chestnut Street in Springfield..
“We shouldn’t let the Riverview (Springfield) and the Columbia Point (Dorchester)
projects influence the public. Nobody in his right mind would build like that again.”
Plunkett said Massachusetts is a “rock above water” in the nation in terms of its contribution to public housing.
“We’re advancing in the face of repression on the federal level,” he said. “The Nixon administration wants to ignore the poor.”
“We met to solidify our group. We’re, becoming a very tight-knit organization,” he said.
Plunkett said city housing authorities across the state are beginning to consider tenants’ right. He noted that leases now contain, in many cases, a list of landlord and tenant obligations, city responsibilities as well as tenant obligations.