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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With Sanders, affordable housing feels the burn

What do Bernie Sanders and Boston area development battles have to do with each other? Not much. Or at least they didn’t — until Vermont’s socialist senator parachuted into the middle of very local squabbles by endorsing slates of candidates in the upcoming municipal elections in Somerville and Cambridge. Sanders’s effort is not only sowing(...)

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Domestic violence, homelessness linked

Domestic violence, homelessness linked

Problem is escalating even as support funds are being cut

CONGRESS HAS ESTABLISHED October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, marking a time to celebrate survivors, to grieve for those who have died, and to pay tribute to advocates who work tirelessly to end it. Domestic violence is a public health crisis that afflicts all communities – urban, suburban, and rural. One in four women will experience domestic(...)

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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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What’s Amazon up to?

Amazon slashed the prices of a handful of items at its just-acquired Whole Foods chain, a move that garnered loads of publicity but shed little light on the online retailing giant’s long-term supermarket plans. Prices for organic butter, milk, bananas, eggs, almond butter, baby kale, apples, and responsibly farmed salmon all fell. The price cuts(...)

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The Codcast: Tipping point for Confederate statues

After this month’s white nationalist rally in Virginia, statues of Confederate leaders are falling across the South. Protests by white supremacists against the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville have set in motion a rush to rid town greens and parks of icons to the Confederate cause. Many have decried the(...)

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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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The Codcast: YIMBYs take on NIMBYs

It has become almost axiomatic that communities will resist new housing development projects. They will generate unbearable traffic! There isn’t enough parking here! They’ll hurt property values! The developer wants to cram in too many units! The list of horribles is endless, but the response can usually be summed up with one word, which is(...)

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4 takeaways from sales tax moves

You could actually see an industry in transition on Wednesday. Amazon held a giant job fair at nearly a dozen of its US warehouses, including the one in Fall River, as the company sought to fill 50,000 empty positions across the country. At the same time, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts announced it was mounting(...)

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