Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030

Jouhou

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Mayor Walsh has increased the target for housing development in Boston, now 69,000 units by 2030, up from 50,000 units. 22% to be affordable.

Increase is driven by new population forecasts for Boston. Now 760,000 by 2030 (up form a forecast of 709,000 just four years ago).

Boston Globe Coverage:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/09/25/city-raises-its-goal-for-new-housing-percent/Bqs0SPu9T6xiQUTSJFvrtN/story.html
If we built enough housing i'm pretty sure it would be over 800,000 by 2030. The housing shortage itself is suppressing demand.
 

TheRifleman

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Re: What's Happening With Project X?

This is so laughable. Today's paper,

PLAN SEEKS high-end real estate sales fees
Boston officials propose new taxes on some real estate deals to pay for more housing
"We are in a crisis," said City Councilor Lydia Edwards, The plans lead sponsor along with Councilor Kim Janey. "That we are suffering in one of the biggest booms in history of our city is unacceptable."

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/01/13/amid-housing-crunch-city-officials-propose-new-real-estate-taxes-flipping-and-sales-over-million/XJZYMQuftehY9I2ATdBYqM/story.html

How are all these towns in trouble financially -- real estate taxes are up almost 50% in the last 6 years?

We have a Southstation and Harbor garage in the heart of transit that both continue to sit idle? Wouldn't that make more sense to add more supply of housing right a transit lines? Make a deal with the developers to add 100% housing to those two locations.
 

bakgwailo

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Re: What's Happening With Project X?

This is so laughable. Today's paper,

PLAN SEEKS high-end real estate sales fees
Boston officials propose new taxes on some real estate deals to pay for more housing
"We are in a crisis," said City Councilor Lydia Edwards, The plans lead sponsor along with Councilor Kim Janey. "That we are suffering in one of the biggest booms in history of our city is unacceptable."

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/01/13/amid-housing-crunch-city-officials-propose-new-real-estate-taxes-flipping-and-sales-over-million/XJZYMQuftehY9I2ATdBYqM/story.html

How are all these towns in trouble financially -- real estate taxes are up almost 50% in the last 6 years?

We have a Southstation and Harbor garage in the heart of transit that both continue to sit idle? Wouldn't that make more sense to add more supply of housing right a transit lines? Make a deal with the developers to add 100% housing to those two locations.
I have no idea how you read that article and then made this comment.

#1 It isn't about other towns, its about Boston.

#2 That quote is about the housing crisis, not financials.

#3 The City of Boston just posted a surplus for last year

#4 Neither the Harbor Garage or South Station (mostly office, I think) are going to be affordable housing. Which this article is entirely about.
 

TallIsGood

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But they will generate both linkage payments and tax revenues to support affordable housing. How about not reducing every housing proposal that comes along??
 

bakgwailo

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But they will generate both linkage payments and tax revenues to support affordable housing. How about not reducing every housing proposal that comes along??
Which is still a drop in the hat to fix the housing issue. Supertalls and sky scrappers aren't the fix - comprehensive zoning control and 4-5 story buildings are. Last I checked, the BPDA/BRA still has a huge war chest of unspent remediation funds from the affordable housing requirements. Also, reducing height also happens, especially downtown, due to things like Logan which is out of anybody's control. I am also not arguing that I agree with the proposals in the article, but, that, the "summary" provided was completely off.
 

TallIsGood

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I didn’t talk about supertalls or FAA limits. Most housing projects are viewed as too dense or too tall even if they start at 5-6 stories. Density solves housing demand.
 

TheRifleman

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Which is still a drop in the hat to fix the housing issue. Supertalls and sky scrappers aren't the fix - comprehensive zoning control and 4-5 story buildings are. Last I checked, the BPDA/BRA still has a huge war chest of unspent remediation funds from the affordable housing requirements. Also, reducing height also happens, especially downtown, due to things like Logan which is out of anybody's control. I am also not arguing that I agree with the proposals in the article, but, that, the "summary" provided was completely off.
It’s a start to add more supply in the core of the city to the housing shortage affordable or not. I personally would like to see the state focus on rapid transit lines from Boston to Worcester, Springfield, cape, New Bedford, Lowell. This will help those communities build up as long as they can get in and out of the city in 15mins by rapid transit.

The MBTA serious lack of vision and pension corruption has really cost all the taxpayers to sit in traffic and watch everything get built upon with constant congestion in and around the city. It’s a real shame
 
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bakgwailo

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I didn’t talk about supertalls or FAA limits. Most housing projects are viewed as too dense or too tall even if they start at 5-6 stories. Density solves housing demand.
Rifle was specifically talking about the South Station Tower and Harbor Garage tower(s).
 

bigpicture7

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Nestor Ramos’ opinion piece is especially excellent. I don’t always like his stuff this much but this is a good piece. https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/01/31/dante-ramos-boston-must-come-grips-with-its-new-geography/dUfOQeoKa5Llp5j0C9zkdK/story.html
Thanks for sharing. Note, though, that this was from the Globe's other Ramos: Dante, not Nestor.


Dante Ramos, IMO, has proven to be a very levelheaded and thoughtful advocate for development in Boston, balancing considerations of equality/transportation/big-picture thinking with an endorsement of a growth-can-be-good mentality.
 

Downburst

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Dante Ramos, IMO, has proven to be a very levelheaded and thoughtful advocate for development in Boston, balancing considerations of equality/transportation/big-picture thinking with an endorsement of a growth-can-be-good mentality.
Agreed. Unfortunately for us, he will be moving to The Atlantic come the end of the month.
 

George_Apley

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While supply/demand is obviously a big part of the problem, "build our way out" is also nearly impossible because demand cannot be met for the 1-2 dozen cities that are in high demand. Obviously we should be liberalizing our zoning ordinances to allow more mixed-use development and multi-family housing, but that's just one part of the solution.

Theoretically we could repeal all zoning ordinances tomorrow and allow as of right development on all parcels, and over time neighborhoods would dramatically change and eventually lower prices, though probably not in all parts of the housing market.

The displacement problem cannot be waved away and needs a political solution. The out-of-balance demand in the northeast and west coast needs to be corrected as well.
 

fattony

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The displacement problem cannot be waved away and needs a political solution. The out-of-balance demand in the northeast and west coast needs to be corrected as well.
I think the demand side of this is making a move (rather slowly) in the right direction. Cities that have been in low demand need to adapt and reinvent themselves to become more desirable to the people who have been flocking to Northeast and West Coast powerhouses. I think it is safe to say there has been slow and steady progress just about everywhere, among cities large and small, to improve public transit, urban parks/spaces, and provide at least some degree of walkable districts. Not grand revolutions remaking entire cities, but for the most part I've seen progress in the right direction just about everywhere.
 

George_Apley

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I think the demand side of this is making a move (rather slowly) in the right direction. Cities that have been in low demand need to adapt and reinvent themselves to become more desirable to the people who have been flocking to Northeast and West Coast powerhouses. I think it is safe to say there has been slow and steady progress just about everywhere, among cities large and small, to improve public transit, urban parks/spaces, and provide at least some degree of walkable districts. Not grand revolutions remaking entire cities, but for the most part I've seen progress in the right direction just about everywhere.
Definitely agree. It's up to good urbanists to keep up the momentum nationwide.
 

TallIsGood

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While supply/demand is obviously a big part of the problem, "build our way out" is also nearly impossible because demand cannot be met for the 1-2 dozen cities that are in high demand.
This is false. We could build our way out if governmental restrictions stopped restricting the construction of housing in densities that we need. This is a problem created by regulation.
 

George_Apley

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This is false. We could build our way out if governmental restrictions stopped restricting the construction of housing in densities that we need. This is a problem created by regulation.
Right. In a libertarian utopia(?) developers could just buy up and demolish whole neighborhoods (or more likely piecemeal) and redevelop them to be higher density. Then we have ample housing supply but a city that isn't *Boston* anymore. But we're never going to have that world anyway, for better or worse, so why get into debates about perfect theory worlds?

I'm talking about the world as it is. And, as it is, loosening regulations will *help* but not solve the problem. Zoning ordinances will *never* vanish, no-matter what pipe dreams libertarians have about the Supreme Court and property takings.
 

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