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Housing Study: sounding the urgent call for 17,000 new affordable rental units

March 31, 2022

Link to full article on MassLive

As detailed by the second housing report from the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute and Way Finders, the region is in urgent need of more housing at all income levels—affordable housing through market-rate housing. Of note, the study calls for the addition of at least 17,000 new rental units at or below $500 a month, which could help make a more attainable housing market for all residents.  

“We haven’t been building enough,” said Keith Fairey, president and CEO of Way Finders. “We haven’t been building enough affordable housing, or even workforce or market-rate housing. We haven’t kept up.”

The shortage—and ensuing spikes in prices—has ramifications beyond that of the heavy cost burden experienced by individuals. When workers can’t find housing, for example, employers can’t hire and grow.

“It’s more than housing, it’s about the economic vitality of our region,” Fairey said.

Other solutions to address the housing cost crisis, per the report, range from better public transportation to reforms to zoning and other policies (such as regarding accessory-dwelling units and parking requirements).