The Affordable Housing Crisis in Boston
November 24, 2015
November 24, 2015
On Boston’s booming real estate scene, we’ve seen a continuous stream of news coverage around beautiful new high-rise towers and the construction of shiny office buildings. While it’s exciting to witness Boston’s latest evolution and how far we’ve come in development, it’s important to acknowledge some of the other high-priority topics in the industry, including affordable housing.
Everyone knows that, as housing costs continue to skyrocket, families are being priced out of the city. GOVERNING Magazine recently noted that, while there remains a big enough supply of large homes in Boston designed for families, millennials are now pooling their money and able to outbid these families. Neighborhoods that were once much more affordable than they are now, such as Jamaica Plain, are seeing rents and home prices that are no longer attainable for low-income residents.
It was heartening that an important part of Mayor Walsh’s goal of adding 53,000 new housing units by 2030 included calling for 6,500 units of affordable housing. The Boston Globe has been outspoken in its support of the inclusionary development policy, which requires that developers of large residential buildings discount 13 percent of the units, so that they are accessible to today’s low-income families. Recent reports suggest that the Walsh administration will propose an increase in linkage payments by developers to help fund affordable housing.
This progress has been met with enthusiasm by leaders at the forefront of the issue, as seen in this Banker & Tradesman interview with Vanessa Calderon-Rosado, the CEO of non-profit affordable housing developer IBA. Calderon-Rosado points to the large impact gentrification is having on the South End and notes that the waiting list for IBA’s affordable housing communities stands at a shocking 12,000 names.
The Walsh administration promises hope, but pressure continues to mount and there is a need now more than ever to address Boston’s affordability crisis.