Beacon Hill is sitting on a mountain of federal cash. And House and Senate leaders are inexplicably giving the brush-off to calls to devote much of it to affordable housing production even as prices and rents are skyrocketing.
The process for approving new housing development in communities across Massachusetts is “skewed toward an older, white population with the greatest interest in obstructing new development,” according to a new report assembled by two Boston University researchers and released Wednesday by The Boston Foundation.
Returning to “normal” shouldn’t mean skyrocketing rents and home prices. Yet, that’s what we’re seeing happen across the state. It’s time we put the lessons learned over the last two years into practice to fix the housing crisis.
We only have a short period of time to ensure that renters, landlords and homeowners do not face a financial cliff when the moratorium ends.
According to DCHD records, 42 cities and towns have now adopted smart growth zoning, covering over 2,300 acres which can accommodate 22,213 dwelling units. But so far only about 3,750 dwelling units have been built or permitted, an increase of about 1,250 units since 2014.
Housing cost burdens continued to escalate in Massachusetts, which is now the third-least affordable state in which to rent an apartment.
With Boston and other major cities in the grip of housing crises, federal help is needed more than ever to build enough affordable housing to meet the need.
With recent public debate focused on the lack of new and affordable housing and its impact on job growth, traffic congestion and others facets of daily life, public housing advocates reminded lawmakers on Tuesday not to neglect what the state already has.
Major amendments sought by affordable housing advocates failed to pass during this year’s fiscal 2020 House budget debate, but lawmakers added more than $2 million in funding for local housing programs and affordable vouchers.
Amid growing warnings about declining access to affordable housing in Massachusetts, advocates are urging lawmakers to ramp up investments in key programs beyond what was already proposed in the state House leadership budget.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and others in the Baker administration to continue to try to build public support for a proposal to make housing-friendly zoning easier to pass. The legislature’s timeline for considering the measure, however, remains unclear.
Although Massachusetts compares favorably to other states, a new report indicates the commonwealth still has a shortage of affordable housing to meet the needs of its lowest-income residents.
It’s no secret that the suburbs lag behind Boston in the creation of affordable housing. Year after year, economists have noted that the suburbs could learn much from Boston and its best practices for reducing the time it takes to secure housing permits and construct units.