Boston reconsiders policy reserving housing units for moderate-income tenants

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By Sharon O’Malley | constructiondive.com | July 15, 2015 Dive Brief: A Boston law requiring developers to make room for moderate-income residents in new condominium and apartment buildings “does virtually nothing to solve the housing crisis,” according to Northeastern University. So Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is reconsidering a city policy that sets aside 13% of […]

Audit finds BRA is a dysfunctional bureaucracy

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The agency charged with overseeing the real estate boom coursing through Boston is a dysfunctional bureaucracy, its system for reviewing projects erratic, with just a few powerful staffers deciding how new buildings will look using “unwritten rules,” according to a highly critical audit being released by City Hall Thursday.

Boston Mayor Mulls Affordable Housing Policy Change

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Mayor Marty Walsh is reconsidering whether inclusionary zoning exchanges help or hurt — or do anything at all — about the city’s growing housing crisis.

Luxury-Home Lottos Reconsidered in Boston Housing Squeeze

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The Boston policy requiring developers to accommodate lower-income residents in even the most expensive buildings is being scrutinized as cities struggle to provide affordable housing. Helping affordable-housing lottery winners live in swanky digs limits the construction of properties elsewhere that can accommodate more people, said Barry Bluestone, an economist and founding director of Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. “It’s a nice gesture but it does virtually nothing to solve the housing crisis,” said Dr. Bluestone. “There are a lot of areas where it would be cheaper to build middle-income housing.”

In Boston, a surge in affordable housing

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Boston is experiencing a surge in construction of housing units that low- and middle-income residents can afford, countering a trend toward luxury home construction, figures released Tuesday show.

SPECIAL REPORT: The new housing crisis

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Rents are rising, and the working poor are spending more each month on housing, forcing tough choices between shelter and essentials, such as food and medicine. While local programs offer some assistance, the federal government has no appetite for addressing the crisis in affordable housing, and experts say without a coordinated national effort, the crisis will deepen.

Lack of inventory blamed for sluggish Mass. home sales in May

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Massachusetts home sales fell in May compared to the previous year as a tight supply of properties on the market continues to frustrate buyers, analysts and industry officials said.

Braintree population projected to grow

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A study by Lauren Costello and Barry Bluestone of the Dukakis Center projects the town’s population will top 40,000 by 2030.

Soaring rents drain household budgets for millions of working people

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Renting has long been a temporary step toward home ownership or a permanent part of living on a tight budget.When people would sit down to work out a budget, devoting 25 percent or 30 percent of monthly income to rent was the “affordable” part of still paying the other bills and maybe saving a bit. But that calculation no longer works for millions of people.

Presentation on Braintree’s future Wednesday night

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Barry Bluestone, a professor at Northeastern University, and Mayor Joseph Sullivan will share the findings of “Envision Braintree” at a community meeting Wednesday night.

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