2021 Boston Mayoral Race

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
5,077
Reaction score
1,602
Her answer on housing affordability:

Housing affordability is one of the most pressing issues facing Boston residents, and the pandemic has destabilized even more families. Prior to COVID-19, Boston was experiencing a building boom and population growth, but the number of kids living in the city has actually gone down over the last few decades. Families have been squeezed, and we need to ease the pressure on housing costs.

First is that when we talk about “affordable” units, we need to be specific about what that means. From 2011 to 2017, fewer than 9% of newly permitted units were affordable for residents making up to 60% of the Area Median Income — who make up nearly half of Boston’s residents. We may be in the middle of a building boom, but it’s not meeting the needs of Boston’s working families.

I led the charge to close corporate loopholes for short-term rentals when Airbnb and similar platforms were being used to displace tenants and drive rents up--our legislation set a national precedent and returned thousands of units back to long-term rental housing.

We need to use the tools of planning and zoning to be specific about where density and affordability should be streamlined, and to fully incorporate affirmatively furthering fair housing.

We also need more aggressive public investment to keep families from being pushed out of Boston. I’ve worked to start laying the groundwork for using green and social bonds to leverage our capital budget to build new housing that’s not only deeply affordable, but also energy-efficient, driving down utility costs for families and improving air quality and public health. We have a responsibility to use every financial tool at our disposal to expand housing options. As Mayor, I’ll work to expand the social housing sector, like cooperatives, non-profits, community land trusts, and public housing, which guarantees long-term affordability and stability for residents by removing housing from the speculative market.
 

Massachoicetts

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
446
Reaction score
495
Granted, I can get a 150k-250k condo in a commutable urbane area in/outside Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City (Jersey City chiefly) and DC (Silver Springs, Tysons, PCG, etc) but cannot in the Greater Boston Area is truly sad. She is totally right and I respect her vision on this issue. Now what is her plan to improve the insanely overpriced city of Boston? Whole other ball game.
 

bigpicture7

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
1,943
Reaction score
845
She sounds like she gets it regarding rezoning and density corridors. Sufficiently vague though.
I get what you're saying, but..."We need to use the tools of planning and zoning to be specific about where density and affordability should be streamlined, and to fully incorporate affirmatively furthering fair housing"...is too vague to be useful. That's a highly politicized statement because it avoids calling out any particular neighborhoods or areas where she actually proposes re-zoning for density. To me this reads as "Yes, we should put more units somewhere...in that magical place that's not near YOU." You cannot promise people lower housing costs and few neighbors simultaneously. I will not be impressed until specifics are mentioned, because until then, she gets "free credit" for seeming to care about housing so long as she doesn't need to alienate any growth-scared residents or neighborhoods whose votes she wants. She has past sentiments of opposing dense development, so it is entirely unclear what she means by zoning for density. EDIT: and upon re-read, what does "where density...should be streamlined" even mean? Easier-to-build density, or density that's less dense ; )
 
Last edited:

Blackbird

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
450
Reaction score
481
I like that she did an AMA. It’s at least a cool idea and gesture. Did no one try to follow up and force her into more specificity?
 

393b40

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
1,725
Reaction score
503
She’s definitely trying to tap into young non-establishment voters (read: gen-z, millenials) with things like a Reddit AMA.

Given how low voter turnout is usually for Boston elections this might be an interesting strategy.
 

HenryAlan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,612
Reaction score
696
To be very clear, I was not impressed.
Her rhetoric on housing has generally been very disappointing. I like her personally (she's a neighbor) and definitely approve of her positions on transportation, biking, and walking. But the statement you posted does not give me confidence that she intends to actively support a large increase in housing stock throughout the city, which is the only meaningful solution.
 

JumboBuc

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
2,365
Reaction score
630
John Barros is officially in.

From his website:
As Mayor, John will:
  • Take immediate steps to assist Bostonians at risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 economic crisis by providing rent assistance. Even beyond the COVID-19 crisis, John will work towards lifting up residents who are at risk of eviction and often living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Increase housing production in Boston in order to keep up with demand and stabilize rents and housing costs.
  • Dedicate more City resources for affordable homes and public housing options, including more affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities. Use more City-owned land for affordable homes, and also call on the State and Federal governments to contribute more to housing affordability in Boston.
  • Leverage City-owned buildings to create housing adjacent to libraries, community centers, and other public assets.
  • Encourage cities and towns surrounding Boston to do their fair share in preserving and building affordable housing.
  • Build on the City’s homeownership programs and mortgage products, so more people have access to the stability that homeownership brings.
  • Call on colleges and universities to build more on-campus housing to preserve neighborhood homes for working families.
  • Grow the City’s Office of Housing Stability to make sure tenants know their rights and protect them from eviction.
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
5,077
Reaction score
1,602
He'll represent those positions in the campaign. I'd be surprised if he breaks out of the pack.
 

KCasiglio

New member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
86
Reaction score
99
  • Leverage City-owned buildings to create housing adjacent to libraries, community centers, and other public assets.
Apartments atop the Copely BPL please and thank you
 

MrDee12345

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
5
Reaction score
5
Granted, I can get a 150k-250k condo in a commutable urbane area in/outside Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City (Jersey City chiefly) and DC (Silver Springs, Tysons, PCG, etc) but cannot in the Greater Boston Area is truly sad. She is totally right and I respect her vision on this issue. Now what is her plan to improve the insanely overpriced city of Boston? Whole other ball game.
Whereas I agree with your sentiments, we must also factor in the fact that in NY and NJ the HOA rates can be double or triple the rates I've seen in and around Boston. It may make it easier for you to make a down payment, but after a few years, those numbers add up.
 

Massachoicetts

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
446
Reaction score
495
Whereas I agree with your sentiments, we must also factor in the fact that in NY and NJ the HOA rates can be double or triple the rates I've seen in and around Boston. It may make it easier for you to make a down payment, but after a few years, those numbers add up.
Most HOAs here in Nj Run 300-400 in a solid complex.

The ones in Fort Lee are over 1k, but they include everything including property taxes. Maddening, but It is Fort Lee.
 

Top