NAHANT – For Susan Alessi and many of her longtime neighbors, the love affair of living in Nahant ends in heartbreak.
“I came Memorial weekend in 1978 and never left. I love Nahant,” Susan Alessi said.
They rent what is called “Coast Guard Housing,” which the city purchased from the federal government nearly 20 years ago. But there is still a loan of nearly $2 million to repay.
Last fall, city leaders told tenants they had 12 months to find a new home. It had been voted on that spring, in May 2021. Now the clock is ticking for the evictions of these tenants.
“They decided to go ahead with the plan to demolish the 12 Coast Guard houses and level the land,” Alessi said. “It’s been a daily search for over a year now. I’m on a fixed income, social security. Affordable housing? There isn’t any.”
The Nahant Board of Selectmen said they were doing all they could to help. But city leaders admitted “it’s difficult”.
“There are 9,700 people on the waiting list at the Housing Authority, for only about 40 units. I think they have a vacancy right now,” said city administrator Antonio Bartletta.
For Alessi, no loss could come close to what she has already suffered. His daughter died in this house. But even after offering to pay higher rent to stay, she and her neighbors feel hopeless.
“These are our homes. We shouldn’t be thrown away like property,” she said.