Housing

Airbnb’s smoke and mirrors

Airbnb’s smoke and mirrors

Lawmakers, public shouldn't be duped by company's embrace of taxes in short-term rentals

IN HIS NOVEMBER 8 op-ed in CommonWealth (“Time for state to catch up on Airbnb tax”), Airbnb executive Will Burns raises many excellent points about why it is time for the state to act on the taxation and regulation of short-term rental platforms. It is important, however, that lawmakers and the public see through the(...)

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Are homes only for the upper-class?

Are homes only for the upper-class?

Reduction in middle-class homeowners is threat to Mass. economy

HOMEOWNERSHIP HAS TRADITIONALLY been a marker of middle-class life, and a tool for vaulting families solidly into the middle class. Sustainable homeownership builds family wealth, and helps stabilize neighborhoods. But over the past decade, the nature of homeownership in Massachusetts has shifted drastically. Middle-class families in Massa-chusetts are increasingly struggling to access homeownership—especially in greater(...)

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Sound lessons from Seattle

Sound lessons from Seattle

In housing and mobility, we could learn a lot more than just how to host Amazon

MASSACHUSETTS IS ABUZZ with talk about whether Amazon might choose one of our communities for its second North American headquarters. Just days after Amazon announced a nation-wide search for “HQ2,” we visited the company’s longtime home, Seattle, with a delegation of more than a dozen Massachusetts leaders. This study tour – funded by the Barr(...)

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Cambridge votes home-sharing regs

Cambridge votes home-sharing regs

Owners required to live in same or adjacent building

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATE STRATEGY to regulate short-term housing rentals, the Cambridge City Council voted Monday night to require hosts to live in the same or an adjacent building as part of a new set of rules designed to protect the city’s scarce affordable housing market. The new city(...)

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Boston says it’s studying whether to rebuild Long Island Bridge

Boston says it’s studying whether to rebuild Long Island Bridge

Mayor had vowed to rebuild but now says no decision has been made

A SPOKESWOMAN FOR Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued a statement saying the city is doing a cost-benefit analysis on rebuilding the Long Island Bridge, which is a shift from the mayor’s earlier stance that the city would definitely rebuild the span. Walsh’s statement came in the wake of a CommonWealth story reporting that the mayor(...)

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Shadow vs $: It’s the wrong debate

Shadow vs $: It’s the wrong debate

This is not how a world-class city manages development

THE WINTHROP SQUARE DEVELOPMENT proposed by Millennium Partners is not about the shadows on the Public Garden.  It’s about the fact that every major development proposal in Boston seems to be a new discussion, as if we’ve never seen such a thing before.  And each new development appears to be negotiated in complete isolation, apart(...)

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What’s going on at Millennium Tower?

What’s going on at Millennium Tower?

Developer shuffles units to secure $36m mortgage

IT’S ALL A BIT MYSTERIOUS, but a recent real estate transaction at Millennium Tower sheds some light on the financial challenges of catering to the whims of well-to-do condo buyers. According to records at the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds, 16 units in the ultra-luxury condo building in Downtown Crossing were recently sold for the(...)

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The view from $10m up

The view from $10m up

What the ultra-luxury invasion of Downtown Crossing means for Boston

Research assistance by Michael Malpiede BOSTON’S DOWNTOWN CROSSING has always been a crossroads, a place where subways, streets, and people from all walks of life intersect. Foot traffic tended to be heaviest during the day, with the area emptying out at night after the stores shut down. But that’s starting to change. Emerson College and(...)

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The invisible homelessness

The invisible homelessness

Majority of shelter population is families

FAMILY HOMELESSNESS is sometimes called the invisible homelessness since these mothers and children are more likely to seek nightly shelter in public places – in a hospital emergency room, at a bus station, or huddled together in a car – not necessarily in plain view. As a result, people regularly fail to realize how widespread(...)

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MassHousing paid settlements to terminated workers

MassHousing paid settlements to terminated workers

Three employees received a total of $144,552

THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency terminated three employees earlier this year and cushioned the blow by paying them a total of $144,552, according to records grudgingly released by the agency. The employee terminations followed soon after Timothy Sullivan was named executive director of the authority at a strange meeting of(...)

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