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Property speculators busy making East Boston safer, they claim

Sign on house being renovated that says it will make the area safer in East Boston

A roving UHub photographer who lives in East Boston was kind of annoyed by this sign, which basically implies renovations to a couple of triple deckers on Falcon Street on the rapidly gentrifying East Boston waterfront will make the area safer by driving off the poors.

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Or they could be referring to the fact that renovations, you know, improve the quality and safety of homes that have likely not been maintained for decades.

It's probably more likely a home builder is referring to deleading, replacing aging heating systems, and shoring up structurally unsound buildings, etc. rather than spouting overt white supremacist hate speech on the side of all of his buildings.

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rather than spouting overt white supremacist hate speech on the side of all of his buildings.

well it wasn't overt, was it? that's kinda the beauty of the whole plausible deniability thing.

it doesn't even really have to be "white supremacist hate speech" -- it's marketing. everybody knows what "safer community" means in this context; it's a selling point. that doesn't make it okay to say.

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you know, they're actually talking about the structural integrity of those triple deckers. the staircases are kinda steep.. or something.

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Balloon construction gets messy.

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They create safer communities by fixing a half century of deferred maintenance and non-code compliant repairs by slumlords.

If such companies weren't spending money in the same neighborhoods the compliant would be that investors were discriminating against poor neighborhoods by refusing to invest.

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If that's what they're going for, they could just say "safer residences". They say "communities" for a reason.

You don't need to accept the reading that interprets this as coded bigotry, but I think it's a perfectly valid reading (especially in light of other ads run by other companies in other cities). It's better for everybody if we keep our eyes open for this sort of thing, rather than jumping at the chance to dismiss it.

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Just want to jump in and say , all I know is I was a resident of East Boston since 1994 .A tenant at 837 Saratoga St. for 12 1/2 years . The new owner forced evereveryone out... This property owner had multiple other properties he could have offered to us but did not ..I was homeless for a month and had to leave East Boston because I could not afford to stay .. If it matters the new owner is Latino and he put out all American tenants and so far only Latinos have moved in..... It's all about money and greed.. And yes discrimination to Low income period....

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is enough to make me really suspicious of them.

and there's more on their website.


you can make neighborhoods safer by pushing for code enforcement, driving working people out by raising rents isn't the only way. it's just the only way to make other people a tidy profit off of other people's homelessness.

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"All of our investors have stayed after the initial project to continue to work with us on other sites."

That's a bold claim.

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that didn't take very long at all.

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From their website...

​We pride in our projects esthetics and fundamental quality

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I think that by mistaking bad Engrish as being racist, we reveal that we are racists.

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It indicates lack of attention to detail and no real oversight (not even one proofreading check by anyone!).

Which probably carries over into their "investment" and "community-bettering" "work"

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Took a dumpy three decker and refurbished it from cellar to roof, they put central air in each unit and many other expensive upgrades. The transformation was amazing.

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Developers renovating and selling buildings is nothing new. I don’t quite understand the logic of using a slogan that deliberately puts down the community they are building in. Regardless of what they think they mean by it, it sends a very disturbing message. A sign like that is not going to make the neighborhood feel very welcoming toward these developers, which in turn is not going to help build any sort of relationship, never mind a safer community. At best this company is completely ignorant and unaware of the words they chose, and how they are received.

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I can only conclude the message is profit-driven. The main factor in real estate value is location, so these owners want to convey the notion that the location is improving, not just the building. I suppose they also want neighbors to feel the building improvements are raising the values of adjacent properties. And they probably don't want long-term residents wondering whether the house will be used for a revolving-door population (students or Airbnb clientele).

I'm sure the investors will make the building look nicer and maybe even structurally safer. Will they significantly alter the level of safety in the surrounding neighborhood? I doubt it. East Boston has some crime problems--and a dwindling supply of shabby-looking buildings, but I would hardly call it "crime-infested." Nor do I see any connection with safer mobility. Just the same, there's a pervasive (and often misleading) connection made between gentrification and reductions in crime, or at least the displacement of problems from one area to another.

That's why my first reaction to seeing the sign was that a "safer community" meant more than the building. Could the term have anything to do with the proposed "Safe Communities Act" at the State House that would limit local cooperation with federal enforcement against unauthorized immigrants? Maybe if ICE agents see a house that appears gentrified, they'll look somewhere else?

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