There was an editorial in the Globe the other day that seemed kind of unfair.

It involved the high cost of housing within the city of Boston, and how, in the newspaper’s view, the Menino administration had failed its residents.

Boston … is not, however, an urban success story. More than 300 qualified buyers at any given time compete for the roughly 80 affordable homes that the city markets each year through a lottery. And more than 19,000 applicants linger on the city’s waiting list for public housing.

The battlefront is also expanding. While some housing officials continue to help low-income people find an affordable home, others are crafting bail-out plans for families facing foreclosure due to the weight of subprime loans. To complicate matters further, there are only about 600 city-owned, buildable lots remaining as potential sites for affordable homes. For all of the administration’s hard work over seven years, the problem remains acute.

I have been a critic at times, but I can’t fault Mayor Menino for the steps he’s taken to try to keep the cost of housing within reach of the average person in Boston.

He has little control over this.

Any mayor in any major metropolitan area has had to deal with rising housing costs – most if not all have been blindsided by the problem. And, isn’t it a wondrous problem to have? A much better problem than dealing with urban blight and decay.

There has been an enormous amount of development in this city and there has been an extraordinary revitalization of many neighborhoods. It’s an amazing turn of events.

My complaint has been that not enough housing of any sort has been built in the city. The fault lies with many people, not just the Mayor. Regardless of his authority, he has limited control over the free-market economy, you know?

The Globe chose to publish the editorial on the very day that people from all over the country convened on the waterfront to hear about the high cost of housing and what steps need to be taken and what steps have been taken to address the issue.

Basically, the Globe just wanted to embarrass the Mayor while it had the chance.

Source: Home, elusive home – Boston Globe editorial

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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