I just read this complaint. I have to say, he’s right!

Now there is a big housing problem in the South End.

There are a lot of new people who are coming into the South End at the present time because it’s so convenient to downtown. Some are putting up a lot of luxury housing and luxury housing is discriminatory because nobody on the lower and middle income categories can afford it.

This is contrary to my way of thinking.

I don’t mind people coming into the South End to try to establish themselves, buying buildings and improving them for their own use, establishing roots here for themselves, but when they buy up whole blocks at a time and then rehabilitate them into luxury housing, it’s different.

Some people have one or two apartments where they can charge a market rent to carry their mortgage and the expenses of improving their property. I can understand that. But others come in and buy a block or a dozen houses at a time and improve them. The people who are coming in buying these bowfronts and doing luxury rehabbing are getting five and six hundred dollars from their apartments. I call this rent gouging …

The South End needs more housing for those people who aren’t rich. I mean, not everyone can afford to pay five or si …

Wait, what?

Five or six hundred dollars? A month? In what century did people pay $500 per month to rent an apartment in the South End???

Actually, the last. The above was written in 1975 by Harry Dow, longtime South End resident, who was an ardent supporter and defender of the elderly and the poor, and helped improve the lives of countless Boston immigrants.

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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