HinghamYIMBY supports more than just wooing market-rate homebuyers 

We strongly back affordable housing to promote racial and economic diversity

I’D LIKE TO acknowledge the efforts CommonWealth has made to publicize the need for — and explore the many deep-seated local obstacles to — affordable and low-income housing throughout the Boston area.  

In your recent article about our group, HinghamYIMBY (“In Hingham, a welcome to (well-heeled) black residents), you have correctly quoted some statements of mine that appeared in other publications.  

However, to the point at hand, let me say this: If the statements I’ve made have led to a conclusion, by you or anyone else, that we are not enthusiastically supportive of economic and racial housing equity, specifically, as it relates to affordable housing, I accept the blame. We vigorously support our close friends, neighbors, and the many people in Hingham who already serve on committees and organizations focused on affordable housing, rental assistance, an Affordable Housing Trust, the Equity Task Force in the Hingham Public Schools, the METCO Review Project, several very active committees of the Hingham Unity Council, and several initiatives on race undertaken by the Hingham School Committee and the Board of Selectmen, to name only a few current activities in the town.  

Meet the Author
In organizing the group Hingham YIMBY, we tried to define our mission as a limited one, with the hope of doing something small and immediate that we thought we could do well now to encourage new residents of color to move to Hingham and, subsequently, to help them adjust to life in an almost all-white town as it exists today. Our messaging got off by not acknowledging the inter-relatedness of multiple factors in a long-term plan to achieve economic and racial diversity in a town like ours, and by over-defining what we did not think we would be focusing on as our primary mission instead of embracing that inter-relatedness.  

Let me be as clear as I can: We will pursue our initial mission as defined above, but we will equally promote affordable housing and other issues that will lead to a more racially and economically diverse Hingham today, tomorrow, and the years ahead. 

Paul Cappers is the founder and chair of HinghamYIMBY and a longtime Hingham resident.