Yes, Governor Charlie Baker signed An Act Financing the Production and Preservation of Housing for Low and Moderate Income Residents (H.4536) in May, and its almost $2.5B in bond money will help to create more affordable housing, but not in time to alleviate the suffering of many tenants from rent-gouging and eviction.
Jimmy Tobias writes about housing for The Nation, and has been calling attention to tenant organizing and related urban activism nationwide by Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a grass-roots party that has seen phenomenal growth since the 2016 election proceeded to ruin a lot of lives.
Bernie Sanders calls himself a Democratic Socialist, but who knows if he’s a card-carrying member of said organization. In any event, he seems to have been pretty quiet on the affordable housing front. It would be great if he leaned in, but perhaps they and we don’t need him.
If your have been victimized by excessive rents or home prices, are in favor of limiting the power of rent-seekers to absorb your income, and want to do something about that, check in with DSA and offer to help. Their ground game seems to be working, while whatever the Dems have been weakly mouthing about housing is just pie in the sky. Sometimes landlords need to suck it in, but that’s really tough for politicians to make happen without outside agitation.
(end of rant)
I do have a housing category — under economic development and I have given a lot of thought to zoning reform which is one part of the problem.
But I agree we need a stronger agenda in this area and that is one of my high priority projects for this fall. I have promised to sit with housing activists in my district and develop a stronger agenda.
Thanks for speaking out.
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