Calls for Rent Control are Pushed Back as Boston’s Building Boom Continues
As Boston’s historic building boom continues, neighborhoods across the city continue to ask the question – who is all this new housing for? Current Boston residents have been asking this question, while resisting more density and gentrification, to local officials for some time. The issue was recently highlighted at a contentious meeting in Roxbury hosted by City Councilor Kim Janey.
From South Boston to Hyde Park, some civic groups and community organizations have criticized the BPDA and Mayor Walsh’s bold vision to create 69,000 new units of housing as overzealous and misguided. They complain that traffic is already at a gridlock, the new units being created do not cater to families, and that they are too expensive.
However, Mayor Walsh and BPDA’s believe the solution to the housing crisis is not rent control, but more units. We must build our way out of it. The supply and demand is simply too off kilter in a City as attractive as Boston. The high cost of housing continues because the existing housing stock is far too low to meet the demand. To relieve that pressure and make it more affordable, the City has continued to embrace a strategy of growth. Despite some calls at the community level for moratoriums on new development, the City instead believes that more and better planning in communities can alleviate the concerns. Mayor Walsh’s Office and the BPDA have done a solid job at prioritizing thorough, inclusive and community-driven planning efforts to provide a more predictable and transparent future for each neighborhood in the City.
Boston certainly has tremendous momentum on its side as businesses and residents continued increase their presence year after year.
There has been evidence that the City’s approach has made gains in the form of reductions rents and housing costs. The City also boasts and impressive percentage of deed restricted affordable units when compared to other municipalities.
The Walsh Administration took their effort to properly plan to the future one step farther recently, with the aspiring Resilient Boston Harbor plan.