October 24, 2009

Chernisky nails it

Worcester has too much rental housing. Worcester’s housing stock consists of 40 percent homeowners and 60 percent rentals. This isn’t good. Worcester should have 60 percent homeowners and 40 percent rentals.

Every problem Worcester has can be traced to its oversupply of rental housing. Problems like blight, crime, noise pollution, high taxes, no pools, no sidewalk repair and no tax base are the result of poor housing policy. For example, if Worcester increased its homeownership rate to 60 percent, the crime rate would plummet.

Voters must understand that housing policy controls everything about a community, and too much rental housing is a killer. In fact, it was rental housing that brought down the city of Springfield. The City Council needs to take action.

  • First, initiate a moratorium on the production of rental housing, the only exceptions being senior housing and mixed-use developments.
  • Second, push for the condominiumization of Worcester’s three-deckers. Worcester has about 4,000 three-deckers, and we need to condominiumize 2,000 of them, adding 6,000 new homeowners, strengthening and upgrading the inner-city neighborhoods.
  • Third, all three-deckers west of Park Avenue must be condominiumized to protect the integrity of the West Side as an upper-income area. City government should offer big financial incentives to condo converters to get the job done.

Remember, Worcester has many good rental people, but a lot of bad ones too, and the noise pollution alone from these bad guys can destroy a neighborhood. That’s why our goal should be 60 percent homeowners. RICHARD L. CHERNISKY


jahn said...

AMEN !!!!!!! Mr. Chernisky, see you in 2010 as I think that's the 4 letters to the editor that you're allowed in a calendar year. I actaully thought you werent due until November.

ALways great points and on the money. Worcester has far too many PINS (People In Need [of] Services).

It appears from recent T&G articles that we're even reaching out beyond Worc' borders to fulfill this absurd and obscene notion that is making low income housing THE ONLY INDUSTRY IN WORCESTER which is great for all the teachers and cops who live in the suburbs that end up "servicing" these PINS.

Hey Paulie, too bad your 3 deckaaah house isnt a few hundred yards directly to the west. It seems you might be forced to condo-ize it, if the writer had his way...a.k.a as keeping the riff raff east of Park Ave [g]. I can just envision NLOA FEST 2010 in the June-Chandler st area

Talk to Main South CDC for expert opinions on how to move 3 deckers 300 feet, spend 1/2 million $$$ doing it, let them sit suspended 53 feet in the air for months on end, pour mismatched foundations and footings in the middle of January, move them in the dead cold of winter, get free water & sewer hook ups, AND THEN TURN AROUND AND SELL THEM TO FOR PROFIT LANDLORDS FOR $165,000 ...a mere loss of $335,000 per 3 decker. Non-profitism at it's best...once again priceless.

Help Joe OBrein and maybe he can secure you some Jimme Mac bucks to help with the move.

Query which mayoraly candidate would be most likely to supporting the on slaught of more low income housing in Worcester?

Paulie's Point of View said...

new project is going to be condos just not for sale right now and I just finished a project that I expect to be condos in the future...and I am looking at another project for condos in the future...way ahead of Dick Chervinskey..but I agree with Dick:>)

Major conversation with Buckpaxton about this today over coffee at the Double D on Chandler Street

Anonymous said...

If that doesn't sound like local racist diatribe then I don't know what you a bunch of white boys are thinking. Care to explain where you got the details? The KKK?

Jahn said...

Fitchburg Sentinel Enterprise ......(is there any enterprise left in Fitchburg besides unlicensed pharmacies)........has a lead story in todays Sunday paper that theire Planning & Comm. Dev'ment depts(s) s/b complteley audited.

Although i can think of at least one reason why our planning dept(s) s/b audited......if nothing else we should have a top to bottom review of their objectives and the long term costs to the city and how they destroying the city financially & socially with this insane race to just keep building more Low Income housing (FOR ALL RACES).

And Anonymous would have me believe that b/c I or a T&G editorialist differentiates between Park Ave east and Park Ave west that I or the editorialist are racist. There's a leep of logic that's baseless.

Whats next ....that some of the Montvale Historic District folks are pro tennis court and by extension are proabbaly anti Handball court.......and therefore are ray-cysts?

Now here's an Idea.....convert the tennis court to a handball court and have hand ball games everyweek......for the record I played handball at Greenhill park centuries ago and we had to continually repair the wooden structure our selves.

Just be sure the handball court structure isnt more than 15 feet high as accessory structures are limited in height to 15 ft. in Worcester and next thing ya know the tree house Nazi's will be sending you sherrif notices & subpeonas to cease & desist the handball games and lower the structure to 15 ft......( hey I havent driven by Worc's collection of imploded Salt sheds in months............maybe they fixed em all over the summer?)

Jahn said...

Paulie, can u get that proposed soccer stadium for Slummerville moved to Worc for us?

I am NOT NOT NOT an advocte for public $$$$ for sports complexes..............but I am thinking imagine if the Beacon Brighlty area had built a soccer stadium with all the money the gov't has wasted on biulding low income housing for $300,000 per unit..........instead of building NOLO housing we'd have a nice stadium an dClark could use it for free plus all the positive econ. spinnoff that comes with a stadium vs. all teh negative econ spinoff that comes with NOLO housing.

Hoover shoulda built the new trade school there 15 years ago.

Jahn said...

OMG I just read that a Black Bear was chased outtaa the Burncoat St area last night by the cops and the animal control folks.

Will Q blame Konnie for the lose bear in worc?

Wonder if anonymous feels the cops and animal controls guys are racist, too?

Folks in these times do our reps down on Beacon Hill have much more pressing issues to worry about than dog licensing fee's and laws. Gimme me a break...!!!!

Paulie's Point of View said...

you should have been in front of my house last night about 1AM Senor Jahn...the Hip Hop night at Suney's once again turned into a all-out brawl in the Keystone Plaza requiring 8 cruisers and two ambulances...just another accepted night of behavior in WooTown!

Jahn said...

Paulie, I am thinking......should the Worc City council treat Suneys and Keystone (Pizza?) the same way they treated El Delisico. That is, by punishing all simlar purveyors for the misdeeds of which one pruveyor,El Delisico, was the alleged proximate cause. Meaning essentially, should the council ban all places likes Suneys & Keystone b/c this is what the council did with their pushcart vendor ordinance.

See what I mean when i say you can build/upgrade structures, but it's people who make a 'hood what it is.

BTW my gut instincts tell me that if the Pushcarts vendors (PCV)challeneged this law that the city might be on weak grounds. Problem is I suspect the PCVs arent organized enough and/or dont have the dinero for a court challenge. My reasoning si why should a PCV have to get permission from anotehr business to be able to set up shop in a certain area. (BTW there Anonymous, this is another diff between me & Billy Boy).

This is analogous to a company that rents Winnebago's for vacations having to ask the hotel owners on Martha's Vineyard if it's OK for a rented Winnebago to be used on the island as a vacation residence for a week? Mobile "services" vs fixed location services.

Anonymous said...

And just how much do you think a triple decker condo could realistically sell for?

David Z. said...

I happen to know Mr. Chernisky (Dewey knows everyone except Jahn) and with all due respect to him, he's all wet with this diatribe.

Too much rental housing is NOT Worcester's problem. He did NOT nail it.

We all like to use Somerville as an example of a real urban oasis that Worcester should try to emulate. However I just found the following data.

Rentals = 69.4%
Owner = 30.6%


If we use Mr. Chernisky's logic, Somerville should still be known as "Slummerville".

David Z. said...

BTW, Springfield the city we don't like to be compared with has the following breakdown of rental vs. owners.

Rentals = 50.1%
Owner = 49.9%

With 71.5% of their home type being single family.

Using Mr. Chernisky's logic, why is the State Police now assisting the local police patrolling their neighborhoods to control the rampant crime in Springfield?

David Z. said...

I forgot to include the link to the Springfield data. Here it is:


Bill Randell said...

When I say he nailed it

I was referring mainly to his three bullet points

Dewey, Dick is a nice guy. I know him and Jahn

David Z. said...


I never said Dick Chernsiky was not a nice guy but he did not nail it even within his 3 bullet points.

Condos equal home ownership and I just put a big hole in his logic about home ownership stabilizing cities.

Look at the data for Springfield. Home ownership whether condos or single family (71.5%) does not necessarily make or break an urban area.

Do any of the "silly bloggers" reading this want to trade Worcester for Springfield?

Paulie's Point of View said...

Anonymous said...
And just how much do you think a triple decker condo could realistically sell for?

10:05 PM

>>>continue to live in this current moment or past moments for the rest of your life...most likely the reason for your

same questions used to be said for Somerville...and it was still located next to Cambridge, Boston, Medford and Arlington that I recall...condos in three deckahs are selling now...250-500K a piece..

it really is time for an almost complete demographic make-ovah and I am not just talking about the folks who do not like to work....

Jahn said...

Oddly enough Chief Gemme last week on WTAG with Jordan was comparing crime stats with new england cities including Spfld. Not a good benchmark IMO. This was on Jordans drive time slot specifically set aside (I thought) to discuss WPD new T&G media policy, which policy was turned on its head 18 hours later.

Spfld may be using Staties b/c the city is (was) in receiveship and cannt afford it's own public safety Needs. i think they may have even cut police and fire dept pay across the board. Receivers have that authority.

One caveat...Barney frank and company thought home ownership would turn around inner city neighborhoods....now we have the econ mess that we do now....and empty rental units galore...only problem is many tenants just arent cut out to own their own home or especially live in their owner occupied 3 decker and be a landlord. Stewardship of inner city property can be a futile exercise in adult day care. Ask any such landlord. Ask Paulie about #224...!!!!

For 101st time, new sturctures, ownership vs tenant, more police, knife ordinances, nuisance laws, and the like will not change a city. YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THE PEOPLE. ITS THE PEOPLE, NOT THE LAWS NOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE. Worc. continues to change its demographics for the worst. The Radio just said Worc chalked up its 5th homocide yestersay? I will say for a city our size thIS aint too bad. But if one is going to step up and claim credit for low crime stats, one has to also step up and take the hit when crime stats go up.

So..........this weekend I'll be doing all my Halloween partying at WPI frats b/c word is that College Hill will be crawling with lotsa heat in the form of the WPD and HC police.

Not to worry though, future partying on College will purportedly be curtailed in the future as HC has plans this winter to remove 4 Caro street three deckers(?) from the Worc tax rolls. I estimate thats about an $8,000 hit to Worc's property tax revenues. The real moral of the story is if you want to end or reduce College Hill partying by students living on or near HC campus.....just flashback 15 years ago ....purchase & demolish the hotel they are living in (Old Howard Johnsons Hotel on southbridge St).....partying problem solved.....right?? Nope wrong....that just moves it up the hill 300 ft. Like I said it's not the buildings.....it's the people.

Stopping college kids from drinking is like trying to stop the sun from rising in the morning.

MAybe the WPD honchos could to do a better job of containing their cash flow from double dipping cops??? Still not a peep from any incumben tcoucilors re' WPD payroll gate.......Nov 3rd is only 8 days away.....payrollgate is now 13 months old & Wormie says Redactgate is 12 months old?? I am thinking what if updates on both of these issues break on the same day. Might as well get teh pain over with all at once.......right? Caywood & Sutner will run outta ink.

Paulie's Point of View said...

Dewey....Senor Jahn hits it all the time and I just posted about it...

"it's the people stupid" - Senor Jahn

I was talkin' shop with Grace Ross the other night @ EVO and I commented to her that I am not sure there are enough folks left in the city to move it forward..the brain drain has been happening for so long and those that have left have no plans to come back...

so few young kids running for public office except for Kola A...Tracey Novick & Rob Diaz

Bill Randell said...


These are the type of discussions we need to be having. Do I agree with everything anyone says?

Do I know if his percentages are correct? No I don't.

I read his letter and understand what he is trying to say and I think he "nailed it" like he does with all his quarterly letters..


David Z. said...


All I'm saying is a 60% home ownership level is not going to solve Worcester's issues like in the following quote from Mr. Chernisky.

"Every problem Worcester has can be traced to its oversupply of rental housing. Problems like blight, crime, noise pollution, high taxes, no pools, no sidewalk repair and no tax base are the result of poor housing policy. For example, if Worcester increased its homeownership rate to 60 percent, the crime rate would plummet."

Springfield has crime statistics that make me shudder yet a relatively high amount of single family ownership. BTW, I never disputed Dick's Worcester figures about rental vs. homeowners. They're actually just about right on.

Look at Somerville's statistics which have even more rental units (% wise) than Worcester. I think all of us would love to have Somerville's vitality in Worcester.

You're making it seem like this is some sort of personal attack on Mr. Chernisky but you're not commenting on my data.

The percentage of rental units in Worcester is not the cause of everything wrong with Worcester which is exactly what Mr. Chernisky is stating in his quarterly letter to the editor.

Jahn said...

With awl Dew respect..........I think condo'ing of some Worc's 3 deckaaaaaaaaahs will happen some day .........

IMO we're at least another real estate upcycle away from it....but what do I know about RE trends...???....and another real est. up cycle is 8-10 years away. Nobama and his monions who think this turn down is just going to be a prolonged recession have been smokin' too many left handed Chicago cigarettes.

For those of you mere kids who were still in diapers back then (Paulie [g]).......the Mass RE turndown that started in 1988 (it was 1989 b4 anyone even realized it) didnt BEGIN to turn around until mid to late 1997. Thats 8 years and thsi time around is much worse.

I was once told there are huge upfront costs to convert a deckaaaah into condos'. Dont ask me what they. This particlaur guy told my 1000's per unit to convert........but i was left kinda scratching me head wondering exactly what those costs are. Legal, surveying, condo ass'n set up, common area issues, etc?????

If SouthWorc Nay-bore-hood centah cant move those brand-spankin' new 2 BR garden apts style condos they have on Cambridge Hacker Sts....then I get a sense moving 3 deckah units will be difficult. Myself Id rather have an 1,100 sq ft deckah condo vs a dog house size, cute/cozy)( euphemism for tiny) garden apt style condo's. Townhouse style condo's seem to have more appeal than walkups....agian my take on condo conv. is merely my opionin.

There's also a political establishment in Worc that quiclky move to snuff out or make more difficult condo conversions. Poor 3 deckaaah teenants about to be evicted for a condo condo conversion who are staning in councli chambers will make for lotsa tears from the likes of certain mayoral candidate(s)???

I can see it it now....a new zoning rule that states all condo conversions must meet current off st parkign requirements. That alone will preclude 95% of the 3 deckers on 5000 ft lots from being condo'ed. Of course if you re a CDC any variances needed will be rubber stamped..if you re a privte landlord.......best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Paulie -

Your first few statements below are jumbled and incoherent. What the heck does this mean?

">>>continue to live in this current moment or past moments for the rest of your life...most likely the reason for your

Quite simply a nice multifamily 3 decker in Worcester is selling for 250. Many under 200, although granted they need work.

It is simply not feasible to think anyone would pay 250k for a "condo" in a triple decker, when they could buy the entire building for the same amount.

Jahn said...

I'll say here what i think Mr Chernisky is driving at and does not say b/c the T&G would not print it.

Once again, Worc has far too many P.I.N.S. ...People In Need of Services and these people tend to live in either existing low income housing or will be living in low income housing that is being built or on the drawing board.

A viable, modern city that is livable to middle calls folks will slowly morph into "PINS-ville" if the onslaught of low income housing continues. Right now we are at or maybe even beyond a breaking point with teh citys capacity to absorb anymore low income housing and social problems that come with it.

I have to wonder to myself if soon we'll start seeing seccession from the city of Worc and formation of Teh City of North Worcester and/or the City of Montvale. Middle class folks who are the backbone of this country and our city will not continue to subject themseslves to some of the pond scum that emantes from some parts of the city. We nned an immedaite moratorium on ne wlow income housing constr. Please consider this when you cast your vote for mayor next tuesday (11-3). Ms. Toomey represents the teachers union and the eduxational establishment that is always more than thrilled to bring more kids into teh scholl system via more low income housing construction......which kids will be taught by all the teachers who live in Holden, Shrewsbury, Paxton, West Boylston, and the soon to be incorporated Montvale and who vacation in their 2nd homes on Cape Cod all summer.

Just witness our central business district (or teh PIP district) as the beginning of what happens when people w/o adequate disposable income & bad life style habits start to over take an area.

FWIW, call me whatever names you like, but I am telling it like it is. No one here is going to send their significant other shopping all alone for groceries in Main South......and you who are the first to cast stone my way......know this.......

OnSight Insight had it right years ago when they inferred the need to curtail low income housing production and unwind all these CDC's. They even mentiioned culling EXISTING 3 deckers which probaly isnt practical...........but they made their point. What does Worc do..........invite more low income housing constr in the ensuing time

Paulie's Point of View said...

I was buying my first house in the last 80's..not staining my diapahs:>)

WooTown missed the last two real estate cycles..lets hope it doesn't on the next one...

as stated I have no plans to sell as condos now...I am preparing for the future like most prudent investors do:>)

Paulie's Point of View said...

in this instance Dave..using Somerville as an example is apples to oranges...most use Somerville as an example of what would be nice

to much crappy three deckah housing in this city is a huge problem...for the most part I would agree with Dick in regards to his opinions..Somerville housing was never in as a decrepit manner as WooTowns is...my family owns or owned a wee bit of it..Research Burea has a better opinion-tear much of it down

Paulie's Point of View said...

right now the majority of real estate investors are buying these crappy three and six deckahs..bringing them up to Sexy 8standards which has increased thank god and then filling back up with Sexy 8's....I am seeing few who are investing for the long haul in the city...developers in Somervile and surrounding communities were developing for middle class and high income folks..we do not have this demographic in WooTown....and I have no idea on how to change this other than what I am doing in a very small dose and that is being one of the few in my hood who is privately investing and then praying that my decisions hash out of a long period of time....

Paulie's Point of View said...

"Quite simply a nice multifamily 3 decker in Worcester is selling for 250. Many under 200, although granted they need work.

It is simply not feasible to think anyone would pay 250k for a "condo" in a triple decker, when they could buy the entire building for the same amount."

>>>I am not sure how "up to snuff" you are on housing in the WooTown urban core but I would reckon a high percentage needs more than a little work....updating WooTowns urban housing stock to middleclass/upperclass 2009 acceptable living standards will take more than a little bit of money - units with heating systems that are modern and not stove and parlor heater heated....electric systems that can handle modern day electrical needs...houses that are properly insulated..modern day kitchens - I could go on....your argument holds water under todays WooTown demographics...fill the city with young professionals and baby boomers who do not want the responsibility of home maintenance and tenants and a different opinion of value prevails over the need for modern day condos....I think the conversation is about a WooTown that is bursting with folks who have good jobs, and a lifestyle that is more than hanging out on the porch all day sippin' 40 oz's....

Anonymous said...

"I think the conversation is about a WooTown that is bursting with folks who have good jobs, and a lifestyle that is more than hanging out on the porch all day sippin' 40 oz's...."

WooTown bursting with folks with good jobs. Sounds like LaLa land.

Well we all know that is not going to happen unless the city attracts new business.

First step to revitalizing any city is to set up a positive pro business environment. That creates jobs, then people buying and fixing homes.

To think that you can take a 250k 3 decker, dump another 250 into it, and then try to sell it as condos is crazy. Does anybody really think that putting a refurbished condo in the middle of the ghetto is going to attract young professionals and baby boomers?

What Worcester needs is Buddy Cianci. That guy had a vision for Providence. Quite honestly who cares if he was corrupt. He revitalized downtown providence. New business came in and with it followed the young professionals and boomers who fixed up the neighborhoods.

Jahn said...

I think Cianici's influence re Providence re-birth is way overrrated. Ditto's for Menino in Beantown ,too

Most political Ho's who just happen to be at the right place at the right will take credit for anything positive that happens. Did he have some influence....ya I am sure he had some....but it's private money that re-vitalizes and not politicians.

Cianci was a Providence thug, plain and simple. He gave new meaning to the term Waterfire when he allegedly snuffed out a cigarette on the arm of his Ex' wife's boyfriend. Such Winterhill type thuggery is unacceptable [g].

I was actually very upclose to some things in Providence about 30 years ago when Cianci was on his 1st reign (I think it was). I cant divulge what i saw, but there was dirt everywhere.

Did I hear Levy blasting Young Park yesterday on his Lame Levy Line and asking if City Sq is still of interest to Park Young?