WGBH explores Newton’s density debate

From WGHB reporter Craig LeMoult
At a public hearing in Newton last week on a proposal for a huge new housing and commercial development, some community members who spoke said they see density as a solution to the city’s housing problems. Dense housing, these residents said, creates a more vibrant community atmosphere, enables more use of mass transit, and helps reduce the city’s impact on climate change. But for others, even those who want to see more

Do you agree that Metropolitan Boston has a housing crisis? Yes or no?

Just about everyone agrees Metropolitan Boston has a housing crisis.

That’s the opening line in a new study the Globe described as the first comprehensive review of zoning laws in Eastern Massachusetts in more than a decade.

Then the report’s continues….

We just surpassed New York City to become the third most expensive large metro rental market in the country. Single-family and condo prices have continued to climb, with median sale prices of nearly $430,000 across the entire metro area, a 4 percent increase since the end of 2017. Renters are being hit with rent increases and evictions, causing housing instability, displacement, and homelessness. In fact, throughout Massachusetts, one out of every four renters – and even one out of every ten

RightSize called out for politicizing Porch Fest

RightSize called out for politicizing Porch Fest

Organizers of Saturday’s Porch Fest and at least some of their hosts are peeved that the anti-development group RightSize Riverside have been trying to politicize the event. Here’s an email organizers sent today.

Dear PorchFest hosts:

You may have received “RightSize Riverside” flyers this afternoon with a note encouraging you to distribute them at PorchFest.  
 
We did not provide your contact information to the RightSize Riverside organization!  It appears as if the Right Size Riverside obtained the addresses of all PorchFest hosts from the published map and brochure and elected to drop off flyers without our approval.
 
We feel very strongly that PorchFest is all about music and community.  We received several

Do attendees at public meetings reflect the views of the general public?

From a story on the CityLab website….

To understand local housing politics over the past several decades, consider a recent study out of Boston University. Political science professor Katherine Levine Einstein surveyed all of the minutes for zoning and planning meetings about housing across 97 cities and counties in Massachusetts…

 

“In every single city and county we studied, the advantaged dominated the proceedings,” Einstein said at a recent Brookings Institution panel on housing. Residents who are older, men, longtime residents, local voters, and homeowners are much more likely to participate in these meetings. And they are much more likely to oppose new construction than the general public.

 

Residents who oppose new housing are also

Fuller eyes plan to convert armory into affordable housing

Fuller eyes plan to convert armory into affordable housing

From Mayor Ruthanne Fuller’s budget announcement:

I am excited to announce that we will explore preserving the National Guard Armory building on Washington Street at the edge of West Newton Square and repurposing it as 100 percent affordable housing so more people of modest means can make this good city of Newton their home. The commonwealth is willing to sell the building to the city for $1 only if it is used for affordable housing, a use in which I believe deeply, and which also allows the city to control what happens to this important building.

Patch’s Jenna Fisher has more here.

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