It's early, we know, and you're not stupid at all, but we thought that a sharp a reminder was needed that the Hub's current apartment-building jones reflects something larger than new bedrooms and bowl bathroom sinks. In a forceful op-ed in today's Globe, Paul McMorrow reminds us what's at stake in the roughly 4,400 rentals and condos currently under construction in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville (and the more than 8,000 in the pipeline).
High housing prices have long helped to push skilled, educated workers out of Massachusetts. A relatively healthy jobs market should get the state a second look from these crowds. But if the state can't create housing to shelter new workers, it's not going to get many new workers. That's why it's so important to approach the current Boston apartment-building boom as a long-term economic development strategy, instead of a short-term business cycle.
See, the Hub's housing is not simply for those of us already living here. It's for those that want to live here—for, as McMorrow puts it, "growth that wants to happen already." Pols—and local activists—would do well to remember that.
· Boston's New Housing Boom Could Have an Economic Windfall [Globe]
· Boom Went the BRA: City O.K.'s 1,200-Plus Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Not Down w/ Downzoning: a Manifesto on Central Square [Curbed Boston]