Housing

The Airbnb gold rush is on

The Airbnb gold rush is on

Whole buildings, like this one in Chinatown, are being converted into hotels

Photographs by Ken Richardson AIRBNB, LIKE THE draw of ride-hailing apps to car owners, started with the premise that your home can make you a little extra money by renting out rooms to travelers looking to save a few dollars. Empty-nesters, they said, could rent out junior’s bedroom now that he’s moved out and put(...)

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Puerto Ricans struggle to rebuild lives in Mass.

Puerto Ricans struggle to rebuild lives in Mass.

Evacuees face language, culture, economic barriers

ON A CRISP morning in November, Veronica Perez and Limarie Rivera, both self-evacuees from Puerto Rico, borrow a car from Rivera’s cousin and make their way to the New North Citizens’ Council in Springfield. New North is one of nearly two dozen welcome centers around the state designated as a first stop for people coming(...)

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Is anyone home at Millennium Tower?

Is anyone home at Millennium Tower?

City records indicate few condo owners take residential exemption

WEALTHY PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD have bought condos at the ultra-luxury Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing, but not many of them live there full time. City of Boston assessing records indicate three of every four owners don’t consider their condos their principal residence, suggesting the 60-story building, which is nearly sold out, is(...)

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Momentum for more housing choices in the state

Momentum for more housing choices in the state

Lawmakers need to create incentives for communities to increase housing stock

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER joined the fight to promote housing last week—adding more push to the consensus that 2018 is the year to tackle the Commonwealth’s housing crisis head on.  As we head into the 2018 session, it’s time for the Legislature to pass bills that will make it easier for our cities and towns to(...)

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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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