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December

8

2020

MHP comments on proposed MBTA service reductions

BOSTON, Dec. 4, 2020, --- MHP Executive Director Clark Ziegler submitted written comments on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's proposed service reductions. "MHP is concerned that the proposed service cuts -- even if reversed at a later date -- would undermine decades of state policy to promote housing development near transit," wrote Ziegler.

December

4

2020

COVID Community Data Lab

Since May, MHP's Center for Housing Data has been doing analysis for the COVID Community Data Lab, an initiative of Boston Indicators, the research arm of The Boston Foundation. MHP has been tracking housing stability metrics such as housing vacancies, rent prices, ability to pay and most recently the rise in evictions to pre-pandemic levels since the end of the state's moratorium. Check here for the lab's latest report on the pandemic's impact and policy proposals aimed at achieving an inclusive recovery.

December

1

2020

Research brief & Transit-Oriented Development Explorer (TODEX)

Launched in Dec. 2019, MHP's Transit-Oriented Developer Explorer (TODEX) is a detailed research brief and an interesting, easy-to-use housing density transit station locator map rolled into one. Envisioned by MHP Director of Research and Analytics Tom Hopper, the research brief explains the new methodology that was used to estimate the number of homes around transit stops while the mapping tool allows users to see housing densities at all 261 Greater Boston transit stops. One conclusion - which we sometimes call a thought experiment - is that if we increased density at all transit stops to 10 units per acre, we'd net about 250,000 more units.

November

29

2020

Maze of zoning regulations amounts to a paper wall that blocks housing

In a 2019 study MHP helped fund, researcher Amy Dain examined zoning codes and housing plans in 100 Eastern Mass. municipalities and found a maze of regulations that she said amounts to a "paper wall" that more often than not serves to block multifamily housing even when it is nominally permitted by zoning. Dain also found that very little land is zoned for multi-family housing, and what is zoned for multifamily is often built out to the capacity, leaving little room for growth.

November

28

2020

Who Participates in Local Government? Evidence from Meeting Minutes

One of the Center for Housing Data's favorites is this 2017 study by Katherine Levine Einstein, Maxwell Palmer and David Glick. The researchers combed three years worth of meeting minutes from 97 cities and towns in the region, and found nearly two-thirds of residents who stood up to speak about proposed housing developments did so to oppose them, while just 14 percent spoke in support. You could call this the appetizer study to Amy Dain's 2019 study that suggested that the maze of zoning regulations in communities around Greater Boston amounts to a paper wall that more often than not discourages multifamily development.

November

10

2020

The Color of Wealth in Boston

The study was done in 2015 but the data in it is still often used as a lead anecdote to illustrate how decades of systemic racism has put people of color - and especially Blacks - behind the eight ball when it comes to net worth. The study by the Boston Fed, Duke University found that the median net worth for non-immigrant African-American households in the Greater Boston region is $8 while the median net worth for Greater Boston whites is $247,500. The data disparity was brought to light in the 2017 Boston Globe's award-winning seven-part series on race.

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