Jonathan Cohn Calls for Affordable Housing and Tenant Protections

In his March 15th Boston Globe Letter to the Editor, Jonathan Cohn highlights the impact of high rents on a key segment of the city’s population. A recent study by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce cautions that 1 in 4 of our young residents are considering moving out of Boston.

Jonathan writes:

“Last year, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce said that Massachusetts needed to cut taxes on businesses and the rich because otherwise people would flee the state. They won a generous tax package, but cutting the tax on the estates of multimillionaires and the tax on day traders and speculators won’t change the minds of young people about where to live.

Indeed, the chamber’s own new study (“ ‘Alarming’: 1 in 4 young people eye leaving Boston,” Business, March 13) shows that one of the main reasons young people consider moving away is that rent is far too high. It’s the fourth-highest in the country.

Zoning reforms that the chamber supports can make a small dent, but we also need to invest more money in affordable housing and to strengthen tenant protections. Boston has proposals to do both, with home rule petitions to create a real estate transfer fee to fund affordable housing and stabilize rents. Other municipalities do so as well, and the governor’s housing bond bill has language around the former. I’d welcome the chamber’s support for such clear solutions to an urgent problem facing the region.”

Bravo, Jonathan!

Jonathan is policy director for Progressive Mass and secretary of the Boston Ward 4 Dems.

Graphic:  Young Residents Survey 2023, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Foundation

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