The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2015

Executive Summary: Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 9.12.38 AM

Fifteen years ago, the newly founded Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University (now the Dukakis Center) published its first research on housing . Titled A New Paradigm for Housing in Greater Boston, it began with what would become prophetic words:

. . . prosperity brings its own challenges . None is more acute than the region’s severe housing crisis . Vacancy rates are now so low that home prices and rents are being bid up substantially faster than most household incomes . As a result, many long- time residents of the region, in addition to many newcomers, are facing a severe affordability gap between their incomes and what they must pay to rent housing or purchase a home . Prices and rents are rising so quickly that not only are the poor in trouble, but an increasing number of working and lower middle income families worry that pros- perity may price them out of the Boston housing market .

Those words written in 2000 are just as valid today in 2015 .

The New Paradigm report analyzed the supply and demand gap for housing and concluded that Greater Boston would need to produce approximately 7,200 additional new units per year — a total of 36,000 units above current production levels — if supply were to match demand . Otherwise, prices and rents would continue to escalate faster than household and family incomes.

View full report.

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