This forum features opening remarks from Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and an analysis of the findings of the Report Card by Dr. Barry Bluestone. A panel discussion follows the presentation.
The unifying theme of the 14th Greater Boston Housing Report Card is that, in spite of a strong commitment to making housing more affordable in the region and despite a variety of imaginative efforts put forward by the Commonwealth and the City of Boston, housing supply is not keeping up with the housing demand of a growing population and, as a result, housing is less affordable than ever.
The Report Card concludes that meeting Greater Boston’s housing needs today and into the future will require radical new thinking— across public, private and nonprofit sectors— about zoning policy and opportunities to reduce the cost of housing construction so that reasonable target rates of return can be realized on market-rate and affordable workforce housing. What will also be necessary is imaginative rethinking of the kinds of housing we need to produce consistent with the rapidly changing demography of the region. This should include placing priority on housing for young working adults and seniors, and possibly the adoption of new construction techniques such as panelized and modular units. Fortunately, in addition to state and local government, a number of developers, architects and institutions in Greater Boston are committed to finding answers to our housing challenge. Now is indeed the time to speed up the process of housing innovation so that the region can move from concept to construction and finally meet our housing needs.
Linda Dorcena Forry, Massachusetts State Senator & Chairperson, Joint Committee on Housing
Barry Bluestone, Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University
Becky Koepnick, Director, Neighborhoods & Housing, The Boston Foundation
Peter Forman, President & CEO, South Shore Chamber of Commerce
Paul S. Grogan, President & CEO, The Boston Foundation
Rachel Heller, CEO, Citizens' Housing & Planning Association
Rob May, Director, Department of Planning & Economic Development, City of Brockton
Setti Warren, Mayor, City of Newton