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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.




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.




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.

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