QUINCY — The sprawling lawns, white picket fences and single-family homes that define many of the Boston area’s wealthy bedroom communities will need to make room for more of the multifamily housing popping up in cities like Quincy and Boston if the region is going to get a handle on what many advocates see as a housing crisis, according to a study released this week.
Greater Boston is now considered the fourth-most expensive city for rental housing in the nation, thanks in large part to a shortage of housing that has made affording a two-bedroom apartment virtually impossible for anyone making less than $87,000 a year. A study released this week by the Boston Foundation found that financial pressures of ballooning rents and skyrocketing home values coupled with a lack of housing diversity in many of the region’s cities and town have created segregated communities, exacerbated income inequality and increased homelessness.
The study singles out the state’s approach to zoning, which leaves most of the power in the hands of local governments. Known as “home rule,” this allows communities to dictate what kinds of housing can be built and where, and allows communities to effectively ban anything but the single-family houses that characterize the area’s wealthier suburbs.
South Shore Chamber of Commerce Endorses Feinberg Bog Road Project in Duxbury as Part of South Shore 2030 Housing Strategy
South Shore Habitat for Humanity’s homes at Feinberg Bog Road in Duxbury have been recognized as a contributing project to the region’s economic competitiveness. The homes have been endorsed by the South Shore Economic Development Corporation’s Housing Committee, an arm of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. The committee recognizes projects and local initiatives that help make the region more competitive in attracting people and businesses, as part of its larger South Shore 2030: Choosing our Future regional economic and community development plan.
The project in Duxbury is located on Feinberg Bog Road and will consist of six townhomes on 3 acres on the Old Camp Wing property. The project meets the Chamber’s criteria for endorsement as it introduces a smaller square footage product at a lower price point, uses an underutilized parcel of land to the Duxbury community. The developer worked closely with the Town of Duxbury, the Affordable Housing Trust, community members and neighbors to address concerns and to introduce a thoughtful, high quality site design. These townhomes are currently under construction.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined the Chamber and South Shore Economic Development Corp. (SSEDC) leaders, Braintree Mayor Joe Sullivan, Weymouth Mayor Bob Hedlund, and area developers in a discussion held June 4 that focused on economic development and housing initiatives both generally around the Commonwealth and more specifically throughout the South Shore and the Braintree/Weymouth Landing.
Throughout the discussion, which started at Landing 53 (25 Commercial Street, Braintree), Lt. Gov. Polito discussed how the initiative, South Shore 2030, launched by the South Shore Chamber is very similar to what she and Governor Baker are looking to achieve across the Commonwealth, and how the leadership of the mayors and the business community took this vision and made it a reality at the Landing. A plan is important, she said, but without resources and partnerships, it cannot be implemented.
WEYMOUTH — Weymouth Landing hit a low point in the early 2000s, when, as Mayor Robert Hedlund recalls, it was best known for its empty storefronts, dilapidated buildings and a homeless encampment.
But with private investment, state money, public transportation and cooperation between Weymouth and Braintree, the Landing is again becoming a bustling, walkable place to live and work. Today, it’s a place that state officials say other communities should look to as they try to write their own redevelopment success stories.
“This is economic development. It’s a classic case,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said Tuesday during a visit to Landing 53, a redevelopment project. “This is exactly what we need to see in communities across the commonwealth.”
Members of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and the South Shore Development Corp. and local officials on Tuesday joined Polito on a walking tour of Weymouth Landing to discuss an initiative the chamber calls “South Shore 2030” and the progress Weymouth and Braintree have made in encouraging development and attracting new residents to the neighborhood.