People ages 20-34 comprise more than one-third of Boston’s population, the highest proportion of any major US city, according to the city’s ONEin3 initiative, designed to connect Boston’s millennials with housing and other resources. While housing Boston’s undergraduate population has long been a challenge, accommodating a growing influx of graduate students, medical interns, and young professionals is putting increasing pressure on the rental market.
About 3,000 manufacturing jobs have returned from offshore to the Northeast in the past five years, including 600 to Massachusetts, according to the Reshoring Initiative, a group that promotes US manufacturing. The higher costs of doing business in Massachusetts can work against the state, said Harry Moser, the group’s founder, but reshoring here is still attractive to some companies because of the skilled workforce and proximity to colleges and universities.
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.
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.”
Once again, the Greek debt crisis is causing stock markets around the world to tumble and raising questions about the long-term future and stability of the euro currency and the European Union. Could Greece’s woes wash up on the shores of Massachusetts and stall the state’s thriving economy, which has seen unemployment drop to the lowest levels since 2007?