• Priced out: The housing crisis in the Boston area and who is working to fix it

    By: Crystal Haynes

    Updated:

    Housing prices are skyrocketing, forcing many to spend more than half of their incomes on rent or mortgages. 

    The median listing price for Boston-area homes is $500,000.  If you want to rent, it's going to cost $2,200 a month on average. 

    Those prices continue to increase by two to three percent each year.

    Marc Draisen of the Metropolitian Area Planning Council says it would take 430,000 new units of housing to turn things around.  

    “We need to produce more housing," Draisen tells Boston 25 News. "This is an artificially constrained environment.”

    Boston is part of a coalition of 15 cities whose mayors pledged to build 185,000 new units of housing by 2030. 

    But some are skeptical of that approach to the area's housing crunch. 

    “I have been consistent in my criticism of the ’build our way out of this’ model,” Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards said. She's also critical of the city’s 'inclusionary development policy' that asks developers to set aside a percentage of the units as affordable or make a cash contribution towards the city's affordable housing fund.

    Boston 25 News brought the issue to Mayor Marty Walsh who says the city has, "seen the benefit of about 100 million dollars of new additional revenue to put into housing." 

    “We look at it of 13 percent affordable," Walsh said. "We raised it to 18 percent. We want to take another peak at seeing if we can squeeze a little more out of it. If not, we want to make sure we continue to grow.”

    Boston 25 News exposed how tenants were being evicted so landlords could get higher rents back in May of 2017, and it's still an issue.

    >>MORE: Proposed eviction changes in Boston have many landlords upset

    Tenant rights groups including City Life Vida Urbana are working on what they call a “people’s plan” for housing development in Boston. It includes anti-displacement zones, and more programs aimed at keeping people in their homes. 

    “Understand that the people closest to the issue are best positioned to come up with the solutions, " says Reclaim Roxbury leader Armani White.  

    Boston 25 News will continue to look at affordable housing issues in a series of Priced Out reports in the coming weeks.

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